Lamb and lentil tagine
To my mind, lentils are the perfect comfort food - soothing, flavoursome and able to absorb many other flavours.
Photo: Marco Del Grande
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- extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of saffron
- 1 tsp of powdered turmeric
- 1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
- 1 chopped onion,
- 2 chopped carrots
- 1 chopped celery heart (including the tender celery leaves)
- 1 cup of well-washed lentils
- a lamb shoulder cut into 2cm pieces
- salt and pepper
- 1 bunch of coriander
- the juice of a lemon
To prepare, lentils need to be meticulously sorted to make sure there are no small stones hiding among them. The stones have a way of looking just like lentils but of course, once cooked, do not soften; so a little time should be put aside initially so that nobody chips a tooth.
Gently heat 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a tagine base or heavy casserole pot, and add a pinch of saffron, a teaspoon of powdered turmeric and 1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger. Lightly fry for a minute then add a chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots and a chopped celery heart (including the tender celery leaves).
Stir well and lightly fry for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup of well-washed lentils and a lamb shoulder cut into 2cm pieces. Mix well and add enough water to just cover all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, stir, and place the lid on.
Place the tagine (or casserole) into a preheated 180C oven for 50-70 minutes until the lamb and lentils are thoroughly cooked. Once out of the oven, roughly chop a bunch of coriander and squeeze in the juice of a lemon. Check for seasoning and serve.