Lamb or Chicken tagine

Ingredients

  •  500g diced lamb or chicken
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 dried apricots chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2.5 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsps  coriander seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods – seeds removed and crushed
  • 70g chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled for 1-2 hours or ½ can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 heaped tbsp fruit chutney
  • 1 glass red wine or water (150ml)
  • Salt to taste
  • 300g cous cous
  • 300ml boiling water

Couscous to serve (follow directions on the packet) or a gluten free alternative such as Quinoa. Fresh coriander to sprinkle if liked.

Lamb or Chicken tagine

By Diana Earnshaw

See also Vegetable tagine

Serves 4

Winter and Christmas make us think of family and friends, being cosy by the fire and comfort food! Spices used in cooking at this time of year not only provide warmth and flavour, but many are antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. When you add in the benefits of grass-reared organic meat and/or vegetables, you have a fabulous meal which will be both tasty and immune system boosting!

True Food’s meat from organic grass-fed or pasture raised animals will have the best nutrition. Think of us (since we are animals), if we eat the wrong diet for humans, we become sick and weak. We are given drugs which may help us temporarily, but weaken us in the long-term. It is the same for farm animals. Non-pasture raised animals are subjected to drugs – specifically for illness but also as routine.  For at least part of their lives, they live in confined spaces, eating the wrong diet (grains and corn instead of grass). As a result, they suffer physical and mental stress. This is reflected in the quality of the meat.

A tagine is actually an African cooking pot, but the meals that are cooked in it are now known as a “tagine”. There are many great advantages about these meals. It can be cooked in advance (in fact if left, it allows the flavours to develop more) and frozen if you wish. All you will need to do is prepare some couscous to serve. If you want to eat around the fire, it can be served in a bowl and eaten with a fork. Lastly – it provides loads of nutrients! All-in-all, this is a great meal for when friends are coming over.

I like to use whole spices and grind them myself, but ready ground is fine too. 

Method

Sweat the onion, garlic, ginger & carrot in the oil over a low heat for 5 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the lamb or chicken. Stir constantly until the meat is lightly browned.

Stir in all the spices, the chutney, wine or water and ½ teaspoon salt. Replace the lid and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes. Add the chopped apricots and chickpeas and cook for a further 30 minutes. Test the meat – lamb may need a little longer. Check the seasoning

In a bowl, cover the couscous with boiling water. Cover with a plate and leave for 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork. If there is plenty of liquid in the tagine, add a little of this to the boiling water for soaking.

Serve in bowls, topped with chopped coriander if wanted.