Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lamb and Apricot Tatine

Today was my first day back at pastry school for the term. It was strange getting up so early again after four weeks off, but kind of lovely to be back into the routine. Our teacher as always informed us of how much he hated his job, and then spent at least an hour telling stories about dodgy restaurants he has worked in. As usual this drove me crazy, and I wanted to rage about how unproductive we were being, but by now I have learnt to wait it out. All the work gets done in a very round about way......but it does get done.

It was lovely to see my cooking partner....I have missed our awkward conversations where neither of us speak the others primary language. I am soooo very fond of him though with his quirky ideas, crinkled clothes, and proclamations that all the cakes I make are "Beautiful."

By the time class was finished I was oddly inspired and took a trip to a fruit market on the way home to pick up ingredients. I also went to the butcher to buy some meat. Have I ever mentioned on this blog how much I LOVE going to the butcher. I really have no idea why. I hardly ever go because for some strange reason I find the experience a tiny bit daunting with so many thing to pick from. When I get in there however I transform into the friendliest customer that they have had all day, and form a secret on all the butchers working there. Somewhere along the path of my life I formed this idea that all butchers (by default) are good looking, this however is often not the case..........never the less though, I still believe they are.
(Isn't this tea so beautiful! I found it at work)

I got home all happy about my shopping trip, and so excited that the butcher had given me three chicken carcasses for making stock with (so nice!) My poor housemate had to listen to me go on and on about stock and how making your own was so very good for you and very economical......and then I spent my afternoon simmering this mass of stock and skimming the pot. This to me was bliss.

I got so very inspired by some beautiful dried apricots I found in the fruit shop today that I decided so make some braised lamb with apricots and cinnamon. Here is the recipe for you!

Lamb and Apricot Tagine

600g of diced lamb
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 small nob of ginger
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbs of honey
2 cans of diced tomatoes
chicken stock
Half a cup of dried apricots
1 carrot, diced
1/4 floret of cauliflower cut into small pieces
1/2 bunch of coriander
Toasted slivered almonds to serve

What to do:

  • In a pot brown the meat in some olive oil, and then place aside.
  • Finely slice onion, crush garlic and dice up ginger very finely. 
  • Sweat onion, garlic and ginger together until clear a pot.
  • Add the diced carrot and cauliflower, cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add the spices and honey and toast for 2 minutes.
  • Return the meat to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, apricots, a sprig of coriander, and about a cup of stock, bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook simmering on a very low heat for 2 to 3 hours or until the meat is falling apart. If more stock needs to be added just add a little more. 
  • Remove the coriander from the pot and serve with the almonds and some fresh coriander on some couscous. 

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