In North Africa, a tajine is a mixture of meat, vegetables and seasonings all cooked in one pot, traditionally an earthenware one with a domed lid zohich is also called tajine. Although the meat base is usually lamb, as here, chicken, pigeon or even beef may be used instead. Serve Tajine de Mouton aux Fruits Sees (tah-jeen d’moo-tohn oh frwee sehk) with lots of mixed salad, Pita and cold lager.
2 oz. butter or vegetable fat
4 garlic cloves, crushed medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1 lb. lean boned shoulder of lamb, trimmed of excess fat and cut into
2-inch pieces teaspoon ground saffron
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
8 fl. oz. chicken stock
6 oz. prunes, stoned
4 oz. sultanas or seedless raisins
Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).
In a large, flameproof casserole, melt the butter or vegetable fat over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the garlic and onion to the casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the meat pieces and cook them, stirring and turning occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly and evenly browned.
Stir in the saffron, salt, pepper, cin-namon, cumin, cayenne and sugar and mix well. Pour in the stock and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring constantly.
Cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Cook the mixture for 30 minutes. Remove the casserole from the heat and add the prunes and sultanas or seedless raisins. Re-cover the casserole and return it to the oven. Continue cooking for a further 35 to 40 minutes or until the meat is very tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.
Remove the casserole from the oven and serve at once.