Lamb tagine

This tagine flavoured with fresh orange juice and chestnuts tastes even better reheated the next day as the flavours have melded together and can be made using a slow cooker or using a traditional oven (both methods outlined below)
Serves 4-6

Ingredients


*1.5 tsp ground cinnamon (1 cinnamon stick)
*1.5 tsp ground cumin
*175g (6oz) ready-cooked chestnuts
*1.5 tsp ground coriander
*150ml (5fl oz) fresh orange juice
*salt and freshly ground black pepper
*600ml (1 pint) hot lamb stock for the slow cooker or
*900g (2lb) lean leg of lamb, diced (900ml/1.5 pints for the traditional oven method)
*2-3 tbsp olive oil
*2 oranges, peeled and juiced
*1 onion chopped
*bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Method one: slow cooker


Preparation time: 15 mins
15-25 mins pre-cooking
Cooking time in slow cooker: auto/low for 6-8 hrs

1.Preheat the slow cooker, if required. In a large bowl, mix together the spices and season with salt and pepper, then toss the meat in the mixture. Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole or tagine dish over a medium-high heat, add the lamb (in batches and with extra oil, if necessary), and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the lamb is browned on all sides. Remove and put in the slow cooker.

2.Heat the remaining oil in the casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion and cinnamon stick, and stir so the onion is coated in any residual lamb juices. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are soft. Then stir in the chestnuts and pour in the orange juice. Increase the heat and let it bubble for a minute, stirring.

3.Transfer everything to the slow cooker and pour in the stock. Cover and cook on auto/low for 6-8 hours. Add the orange slices for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Check for seasoning, stir through the coriander, and serve with couscous.

Method two: traditional oven cooked


Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 2hrs 15mins

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/gas 3). In a large bowl, mix together the spices and season with salt and pepper, then toss the meat in the mixture. Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole or tagine dish over a medium-high heat, add the lamb (in batches and with extra oil, if necessary), and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the lamb is browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onion and cinnamon stick, and stir so the onion is coated in any residual lamb juices. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are soft, then stir in the chestnuts and pour in the orange juice. Increase the heat and let it bubble for a minute, stirring. Reduce the heat and return the lamb to the casserole dish along with any juices from the lamb.

3. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and put in the oven for 2 hours. Check occasionally that it’s not drying out, topping up with a little hot water if needed. Add the orange slices for the last 30 minutes of cooking. Check for seasoning, stir through the coriander, and serve with couscous.

Recipe adapted from The Slow Cookbook, Heather Whinney, DK, £16.99. Visit www.dk.com.


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