Lamb Shank Tagine with tabbouleh.

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A mouth-watering Moroccan dish of tender lamb in a thick, aromatic sauce with flavours of pomegranate and almond. Served with a fresh herby bulgur wheat salad.

This Recipe is courtesy of BBC Chef, James Martin.

Ingredients.

For the lamb shank tagine;

1 tsp ras-el-hanout
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground turmeric
4 lamb shanks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
1 x 400g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp runny honey
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (available from Middle Eastern grocers and some supermarkets)
½ tsp saffron
350ml/12fl oz chicken stock
125g/4½oz stoneless dried apricots, halved
110g/4oz green olives, stones removed
75g/2½oz whole almonds
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tabbouleh

175g/6oz bulgur wheat
350ml/12fl oz chicken stock
1 small red onion, peeled, finely chopped
350g/12oz pistachio nuts, shells removed, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juice only
1 pomegranate, seeds only
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
5 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
5 tbsp chopped fresh mint
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
1 small bunch fresh coriander

Preparation method

For the lamb shank tagine, preheat of the oven to 160C/315F/Gas 3.

Mix the ras-el-hanout, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, smoked sweet paprika, ground cumin, freshly ground black pepper and ground turmeric together in a bowl. Add the lamb shanks and turn in the mixture to coat them evenly.

Heat a large pan until smoking hot, then add a tablespoon of the olive oil and sear the lamb shanks on all sides for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown all over. Remove the lamb shanks from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil to the same pan and fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the lamb shanks back to the pan and stir well, then add all of the remaining tagine ingredients – except for the coriander and salt and freshly ground black pepper – and bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat, cover the pan with a lid and place in the oven for two hours, or until the lamb is tender.

Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the tagine is slightly thickened. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Meanwhile, for the tabbouleh, place the bulgur wheat into a pan with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes over a low heat. When the bulgur wheat is tender, drain off the excess stock.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, and then transfer the bulgur wheat to a bowl. Add the red onion, pistachios, lemon juice, pomegranate, olive oil and herbs and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, divide the tabbouleh among four serving plates, and then spoon the lamb shank tagine alongside. Chop the coriander and sprinkle over the tagine.

Happy Eating!

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