Jo Arnell creates a warming feast...
Slow cookers are making a comeback, and they are money saving and convenient, it's true, but I can't bring myself to use one, (there was often something lurking murkily in one when I was a child) so I've cooked these recipes in the oven. Flavour is the best thing about cooking food slowly, especially meat (those austerity cuts really can't be cooked quickly). So put the oven on low (or go retro and plug in the slow cooker), then turn your mind to other things for a few hours while the dish does its slow and cosy thing.
Using a tagine encourages the spicy aromas to mingle and enhance the flavours of the dish, but a pot with a lid will be fine.
- serves 4
- preperation time
- cooking time 3 hours
- 800g-1 kg diced shoulder (or leg) of lamb
- 2 sliced/chopped onions
- 1 tin chick peas
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 250g dried apricots (halved)
- 75g chopped dates
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1tsp each cinnamon, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, hot paprika
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ ltr lamb stock
- For the lemon and coriander couscous
- 300g cous cous
- 1 bunch chopped spring onions
- juice of 1 lemon
- handful of finely chopped coriander plus some roughly chopped to garnish
- Mix the spices together and toss the lamb in the spices (you can leave this for a few hours prior to cooking)
- Brown the meat in half the oil and place in the tagine (casserole pot)
- Gently fry the onions in the rest of the oil for 5 minutes or so until soft, but not brown.
- Add the onions to the lamb and add the other ingredients to the pot, combine, put lid on pot and place in pre-heated oven (150C/300F/gas 2) for 2½-3 hours until the meat is meltingly tender.
- Serve with couscous (or rice) and garnish with chopped flat leaved parsley and flaked almonds.
For the lemon and coriander couscous
- Place the couscous in a saucepan, add water to cover (1 part cous cous to 1.5 parts water), stir and simmer for 3 mins.
- Fluff up the couscous and place in a serving dish.
- Lightly fry the chopped spring onions, add them, the juice of the lemon, the chopped coriander and mix.
- Serve garnished with sliced preserved lemons and coriander.
To find out more about Jo's practical gardening workshops, run from her garden in Woodchurch, call 01233 861186 or visit www.hornbrookmanor.co.uk
- recipes Insert Jo Arnell
- pictures David Merewether