We recently celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary, and what better way to say “I still do” than the gift of a cooking pot. Certainly it fits in with the old saying that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. So here’s to many more years of good loving, and good eating!
A tagine references not only the earthenware pot the meal is cooked in, but the meal itself. Our recipe can also be cooked in a dutch oven or a crockpot, so just use whatever you have on hand.
You will need:
Fresh ginger – 1/2 inch up to 1 inch finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
pat of butter
2 cinnamon sticks
~1/4 cup of honey
~1/2 cup dried cherries
~1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
~1/2 cup pitted dates cut into 1/2 inch pieces
~3 lbs lamb (or beef, or chicken, etc) cubed evenly; if you are using chicken pieces like thighs, just leave as is.
several sprigs fresh mint chopped coarsely
slivered almonds are optional
With a mortar and pestle, carefully grind the ginger and garlic into a paste. Once it has reached the right consistency heat the oil and butter in a fry pan (if you’re using a crockpot) or heat directly in your tagine pot. When the oil is hot, add the paste and incorporate into the oil, then add the cinnamon sticks. After a few minutes the cinnamon aroma will get stronger and the paste will begin to change color, add the meat and sear the outside.
Now add the honey and the dried cherries. Mix gently and then place your dates around the outside ring of the meat, then add enough hot water to fill the bottom of the pot but not to cover the meat. Once the pot begins to boil, turn the heat down, cover and cook approximately one and half hours or until done.
Garnish with whole dates, slivered almonds, chopped mint and pitted, halved fresh cherries.
Serve with couscous or wild rice. Enjoy!