Tag Archives: Lamb

Moroccan Lamb Meatball Tajine

Last year I posted a few Moroccan dishes including how to make preserved lemons.  I dipped into my stash of preserved lemons (which are still going well!) to make this tajine that’s bursting with citrus flavors.

I made this in a shallow enamelled cast iron pot, similar to the Le Creuset Buffet Casserole disk that was just the perfect size and served it over a bed of couscous.

Moroccan Lamb Meatball Tajine with Herbs and Lemon adapted from Moroccan Cooking

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 egg
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) minced or ground lamb or beef
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Herb and Lemon Sauce

  • 1 tbs butter or oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and sliced (or ¼ tsp cayenne pepper)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbs flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • ½ preserved lemon, optional (but recommended!)

Preparation

To make the meatballs, process the onion and parsley in a food processor until finely chopped.

Tear the bread into pieces, add to the food processor along with the egg and process for a few seconds.

Add the lamb or beef, cumin, paprika, pepper and 1 tsp salt and process to a thick paste, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally. (Instead of using a food processor you could grate the onion, chop the parsley, crumb the bread and add to the meat in a bowl with the egg, spices and seasoning, then knead until paste-like in consistency)

With moistened hands, shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place them on a tray.  Cover and refrigerate until required.

To make the herb and lemon sauce, heat the butter or oil in a saucepan and add the onion.

Cook over low heat until soft and golden, then add the paprika, turmeric, cumin, and chilli or cayenne pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock and coriander and bring to a boil.

Add the meatballs to the pan and shake the pan to settle them into the sauce.

Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add most of the parsley and lemon juice and season if necessary.

Return to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

If using preserved lemon, rinse well under running water, remove and discard the pulp and cut the rind into thin strips.  Add to the meatballs.

Transfer to a tagine or bowl, scatter with the remaining parsley and serve hot with couscous or crusty bread.

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Lamb Tagine with Peas and Lemons (Moroccan Cooking Part 2 of 2)

In my last post I explained how to preserve lemons, which are frequently used in Moroccan cooking.  You were probably wondering why on earth you would go through all that trouble, but this recipe should answer that question – a million times over because the preserved lemons are definitely the hero of the dish and should not be left out.

I’ve adapted this recipe for cooking in a tagine, which causes the lamb to be melt-in-your-mouth tender.  But don’t worry- I’ve still included stovetop directions in case you don’t have a tagine.

This photo: wishlist.com.au

Lamb Tagine with Peas and Lemons adapted from Moroccan Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1kg  (2lb 4oz) diced lamb
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 235 g (1 ½ cups) peas
  • 2 tsp chopped mint
  • ½ tsp sugar

Preparation

Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat and brown the lamb in batches, removing to a dish when cooked.  Add more oil if required.

Reduce the heat to low, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add the garlic, cumin ginger and turmeric and cook for a few seconds.  Add 375 ml (1 ½ cups) water and stir well to lift the browned juices off the base of the pan, then return the lamb to the pan with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.  Add the coriander, parsley and thyme.  Transfer the stew to a tagine.  Bake in a 150 degree oven for 1 ½ hours.

If you don’t have a tajine, you could also just leave the stew in the pot on the stove, cover it and simmer on low heat for 1 ½ hours.

Separate the preserved lemons into quarters and rinse well under cold running water, removing and discarding the pulp.  Cut the rind into very thin strips and add to the lamb, along with the peas, mint and sugar.  Return to the oven (or a simmer if you are cooking it on the stove top for a further 10 minutes, or until the peas are cooked.

Serve hot with cous cous.

Posh Pies

I already shared my love for pies in my  Australia Day post but never actually included my favorite pie recipe.  Since pies are one of my favorite things to eat I thought I’d share my favorite recipe with you that was given to me by my boyfriend’s mum, Dallas.  This pie recipe is extra special because it incorporates 3 favorite Aussie ingredients – lamb, beer, and VEGEMITE.

I’m not sure if you can find small pie tins in the U.S., but I think a Texas sized muffin tin pan would work just as well.  Dallas’s pie tins were her mum’s and some were her great Auntie Grace’s and are so old that they should be heritage listed!  Lots of great pies have been made in those tins over the years and these definitely did the heritage listed pie tins justice.

Posh Pies Recipe Adapted from the book Delicious Quick Smart Cook

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 600g lean diced lamb
  • 2 tbs plain flour, seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup lager
  • 1 ½ cups beef stock
  • 2 tsp Vegemite
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs chopped mint leaves
  • 8 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preparation

Heat 1 tbs of oil in a deep fry pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the onion, celery, and carrot 2-3 minutes until softened and transfer to a bowl.

Return the pan to the heat with the remaining oil.  Toss lamb in the seasoned flour and cook for 3-4 minutes to brown in two batches.  Return all the lamb to the pan with the onion mixture and add the tomato paste.   Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then add lager, stock, Vegemite, and Worcestershire sauce.   Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 1 hour or until the lamb is very tender.

Strain the meat mixture, reserving the gravy in a saucepan (to drizzle over the pies later).

Stir the mint into the meat mixture, then cool.   You can add some of the frozen peas to the mixture at this point if you like.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 6 squares.  Place 1 square in each pie tin so that the corners are hanging over the edges.

Fill each pastry lined pie tin with the meat mixture.  There should be enough for 6-7 pies, depending on the size of your tins.

Place another square of puff pastry on top of the meat mixture.

Gather all the edges of the puff pastry over the top of the meat and pinch to seal so that no meat mixture can be seen.  If there are any gaps in the pastry, use scrap pieces to cover them.

Brush the tops of the pies with the beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds if you have them on hand.

Bake 35 minutes until golden brown.

Serve pies topped with gravy.