Monday, 13 August 2012

lamb tagine with prunes and Ainsley Harriott's Moroccan Medley Cous Cous

... well, the sunshine finally came out didn't it and boy what a scorcher of a weekend...?

... it's days like this that childhood memories are made... running barefoot in the garden as you jump, screaming over the sprinkler... catching butterflies in your hands and then setting them free on the wind, like captured fairies... finding funny shaped animals in the stray cloud that passes over head... paddling in the stream and laughing at the trout as they shoot from under your feet... racing home-made margarine-tub sailboats down the river... it sounds like the ultimate bucolic dream doesn't it but actually we did all these things this weekend as the sun blazed down on belleau cottage... and all this whilst the heady aroma of a moroccan lamb tagine filled the air as it baked slowly in the oven...

... the lovely people at Ainsley Harriott Foods sent me a fabulous hamper stuffed to the gils with ingredients for the perfect summer meals to eat along with his new range of cous-cous... the range includes some interesting and innovative flavour combinations such as sundried tomato and garlic cous-cous, wild mushroom cous-cous and my favourite, lemon mint and parsley cous-cous... the range is fully vegetarian, ready in just 5 minutes and free from nasty little things such as artificial flavours or preservatives... i'm not really a huge cous-cous eater but these are very pleasing and really do go very well with a huge range of different meals...

lamb tagine with Ainsley Harriott Moroccan Medley Cous Cous
... the people at Ainsley Harriot Foods are keen to promote the #AinsleyBBQ experience but i've had a bit of a barbecue fail this summer so i'm starting with this wonderfully rich stew that tastes like summer in a bowl... I will eventually get round to purchasing a new BBQ and when i do I have a wonderful chicken thigh recipe, naturally, to share with you... i've also made a veggie version of this dish which I make alongside the meat one, doubling the recipe... I used some Quorn chicken fillets cut into wedges and potatoes which I treated in exactly the same way as the lamb...

1 kg of lamb shoulder - diced
2 large onions  finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves - crushed
2 tsp tumeric
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 pint (1/2 lt) veggie stock
a handful of sultanas
a handful of chopped dried apricots or pruned
a handful of almond slithers
2 tsp honey
fresh mint and coriander

- set the oven to 160C and warm some olive oil in a large casserole dish

- add the meat (or quorn and potatoes) in batches and brown then set aside

- saute the onions and garlic then after about 6 mins throw in the spices and toss them around until the onions are coated and starting to soften

- throw the rest of the ingredients, along with the lamb back into the dish, cover and place in the oven for two and a half hours until the meat is gloriously succulent

- after it comes out of the oven take out the meat and place the dish back on a high heat to reduce the stock for about 5 mins of rigorous boil, once nice and thick pour it lovingly over the meat and cous-cous, sprinkle with fresh chopped mint and coriander and then sit back in the evening sunshine and enjoy!



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