When I need a recipe, I call my mum who runs her memory through her extensive cookery book collection and self-invented recipes to provide something that might come to my rescue. As it happened, my father had recently bought her The Hairy Bikers’ The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight. My father is one of those remarkably unromantic people, who either completely fails to buy gifts or buys something that he secretly wants himself. Hairy Bikers’ diet food certainly appealed to him as he’s been a bit weight conscious since having a heart attack.
Fortunately though, the book also appealed to my mother, despite her initial reservations. She has raved about every recipe she has made – and trust me, it takes a lot to please my parents. So it must be good.
My mum recommended that I try a lamb tagine recipe. I was a little concerned because I sometimes find the sweetness of tagines overwhelming , and this recipe contained sweet potatoes, apricots, cinnamon and honey! However, the sweetness was very mild and the overall flavour was rich and delicious. This is one to try. And it’s from a book to buy! (I just tried a traditional chicken stew recipe from it this week and it was amazing!)
Lamb Tagine (from The Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/ Fan 160 degrees / Gas 4. Trim the lamb of any hard fat and cut into rough 3 cm chunks. Season all over with salt and pepper. Mix the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chilli powder in a small bowl.
- Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish or saucepan. Add the lamb, onions and garlic and stir-fry over a high heat for 1 minute until lightly coloured. Sprinkle with the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes more, tossing constantly. Take the pan off the hear as soon as the spices begin to give off a strong aroma.
- Tip the tomatoes into the casserole dish and add the water, honey and chickpeas. Crumble the stock cube over the top and stir well. Bring to a simmer on the hob, stirring a couple of times, then cover the dish with a lid and put it in the preheated oven. Cook for 1 hour.
- Just before the lamb is due to come out of the oven, peel the sweet potato and cut it into rough 2.5 cm chunks. Carefully remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the sweet potato and apricots. Put the lid back on and return the casserole to the oven. Cook for another 45-60 minutes or until the lamb is very tender.
- Serve the tagine sprinkled with some roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley tossed with a little very finely grated lemon zest if you like. The zest adds a little extra spark of flavour.
457 calories per portion … guess it depends on your portion size though 😉
I don’t have an oven so I cooked the tagine by slowly simmering it on the hob and it was absolutely fine.
I found the spice too mild so I would up all the quantities, particularly the chilli powder.