tagine
By George Stewart

With the arrival of spring comes the opportunity to enjoy a new array of seasonal recipes. Spring lamb is always a favourite and any number of preparations make for a fabulously delicious meal. From grilling over the coals to a slow-roasted showstopper there are any number of ways to make a spectacular feast from this sumptuous meat. This recipe here i a slightly different take on a classic Moroccan lamb tagine. Normally a perfect dish for winter with it's warming cinnamon and clove spices, this rendition introduces the freshness of coriander and zesty citrus.

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"From grilling over the coals to a slow-roasted showstopper there are any number of ways to make a spectacular feast from this sumptuous meat."

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For this receipe you will want to start by making a spice mixture in which to coat the lamb. It is best to do this the night before so that it has plenty of time to sink into the meat. This is not a dish to be rushed so always leave yourself plenty of time for the prep-work. Mix the ground cayenne, fresh ground black pepper, paprika, freshly grated ginger and turmeric into a small bowl and mix to combine. Make sure your quantities are roughly equal and give your self enough to coat the lamb with roughly the same amount again for use during cooking..

Heat two teaspoons of olive oil in a large casserole dish and add a finely chopped onion. Add the remaining spice mix and let it cook over low heat for ten minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Add chopped garlic to cook for the final three minutes or so.

In a seperate frying pan, brown the lamb over high heat to seal in the juices before transferring into the casserole dish. Add chopped tomatoes, dried apricots and sultanas and stir in a pint of tomato juice. Allow this to stew together and come to a boil before taking off the heat and adding a handful of chopped coriander and kaffir lime leaf. Cover the dish and transfer to the oven for two to two and a half hours. In the final thirty minutes add lemon juice and pith.

When the meat is ready it will be mouthwateringly tender and will yield to the fork like perfectly flaky fish. Serve atop bulgar wheat in lieu of couscous with a dash of lemon juice and fresh coriander.

This is a hearty dish that is surprisingly light on its feet and on a fresh spring evening is sure to impress a dinner party. This would pair exceptionally well with a rich red from Spain's Ribera del Duero, such as the Picaro del Aguila, a ripe, herbal red from the south of France such as the Mas de Daumas Gassac 2013 or even a ripe Chilean Cabernet like the Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.