Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Tantalising Tagine

Our beauoootiful neighbour, many years ago,  kindly brought me a Tagine from Morocco. An amazing gift of any standard but an amazing gift of endurance & generosity too . . considering she brought the base too for the charcoals. I didnt like to ask how she managed to carry the whole ceramic caboodle home!! I just heaped the heartfelt praise & gratitude into our conversation. Wow, what a lovely kind neighbour!! I'm sooooo very lucky!
Over the years I've practised many recipes, many delicious succulent shanks of lamb, whole chicken, chicken portions, fish almost anything can be cooked slowly in our tagine.  However, all this said & done - I don't use it quite as much as I should. But at the weekend , there wasn't anything else could come close to the much needed ease & practicality of the tagine.  We had some building work done at the weekend, lots of physical chores needed attention, lots of heavy manual work hijacked the day. Luckily I had the foresight to utilise my lovely tagine - before the builders kidnapped me for the day - after all I had lamb shanks in the freezer which could be defrosted easily in the microwave. I had lots of veggies & potatoes so I could chuck the whole load into the tagine , add some spices & tomatoes etc then forget about it till evening :) Amazingly easy way to serve a tasty tantalising lamb shank - juicy, tasty & soooo succulent.

Spiced Lamb Tagine

Lamb shanks
(could use anything you have in fridge courgettes, aubergine, mange tout, sweetcorn, petit pois etc)
Spices & herbs

  • Rinse the lamb shanks in cold water. (Sadly I haven't any photo's of this process as the builders were needing so much done & I didn't have time, only time to chuck everything together whilst hubby lit the charcoals:)
  • Remove, with a sharp knife or scissors, a lot of the surplus fat 
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan, when hot add the shanks to brown
  • Rinse all vegetables in cold water
  • Peel the onions & carrots, cut into quarter size portions
  • Remove the stork & de seed the chillies & peppers
  • Top & tail the celery, removing any strong strings, half lengthways then cut into large thin portions
  • Peel & roughly crush the cloves of garlic
  • Place tinned tomatoes & some puree into the base of the tagine
  • Add lots of preferred spices into a jug, add honey & stir into tomatoes
  • Once the lamb shanks are browned add to the tomato mixture & coat the shanks
  • Saute all of the vegetables in the remaining hot, flavoursome meat juices
  • Add the vegetables to the tomato mixture, placing all beneath the shanks
  • Add couple of cups full of water into the tagine
  • Place the lid & place onto the coals
  • Leave cooking all day
  • Remembering to add new coals to the burning charcoals to maintain constant heat supply.
  • Re oil the inside of the tagine (its always seasoned (oiled) after every use
  • Add the charcoals to the base & ignite, I use fire lighters to assist with lighting the charcoal
  • When the charcoals are almost grey, as opposed to black, the heat is perfect to commence cooking
  • Did manage to grab a few photies during the day but not as many as I would like, but enough to give you a flavour of all which can be created when you think you have little time to be creative :)
  • Keep the tagine lid sealed throughout the cooking duration, stirring only when replacing the charocals
  • About a couple of hours before serving, add peeled potatoes into the tagine. reseal lid & return to charcoals
  • Eventually the lamb falls off the bone, yet manages to remain soo flavoursome & succulent
  • If you can get your hands on a tagine, mine is unglazed, do treat yourself to one they're absolutely FAB
  • Enjoy ..  we enjoyed ours outside, sitting around a bonfire :) delicious!!!


  1. You have convinced me that I need to confiscate my sister's tagine which she never uses. The lamb looks so tender and succulent. I love the whole idea of one pot dishes. They are always really, really delicious.

  2. Absolutely, what kept you!! :) enjoy & be creative - anything goes - you'll wonder why you never did the tantalising tagine cooking before. (don't make your sister a meal with it though or she may want it back :)

  3. Wow. Look at that tagine! No wonder you want to make a special Moroccan dish in that. I adore tagines and you definitely had a great idea doing this if you're multi-tasking with builders etc. Can imagine it's SO full of flavour with all the lamb and veg.

  4. Mmmmm it was, this weekend I'm going to try a tagine curry!!! Who knows what it will turn out like but hopefully it will be tasty :)