“Tagine is the dish of Morocco and everyone has their own spin on it, but for me, the two classic flavours are dates and lamb. One thing I did learn about tagines in Morocco is that presentation is king – every single vegetable is carefully placed into the dish in a systematic way so that when you serve it, everyone gets a bit of everything. Don’t worry if you don’t have a tagine – use a good quality heavy-based saucepan with a well-fitting lid instead.” Shane Delia, Shane Delia’s Moorish Spice Journey
- 3 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 3 cm pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 6 dates, halved and seeded
- pinch of saffron threads
- 1 large eggplant, cut into 6 long wedges
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 20 g butter
- ½ cup day old torn bread (I used a piece of baguette)
- 115 g (1 cup) walnuts, toasted
- 160 g (1 cup) fresh dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1 lemon, zest finely grated
- squeeze of lemon juice
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time overnight
Combine the cumin, paprika and salt in a large bowl, then add the lamb and rub into the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight if time permits.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and cook the lamb over high heat until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and a little more oil if necessary and cook for 6-8 minutes or until softened and starting to colour. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Transfer the onions to the base of a tagine and place a layer of potatoes on top, then scatter with the dates. Place the marinated lamb pieces over the top. Add the saffron threads to 1 litre water, then pour over the lamb and potatoes. Place the eggplant wedges on top, then cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Meanwhile, to make the gremolata, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan over low-medium heat. Add the torn bread, walnuts, dates and ginger and cook, shaking the pan regularly, until golden and crisp. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
Serve the tagine sprinkled with a generous amount of gremolata.
Shane Delia's Moorish Spice Journey starts Thursday 15 October 2015 at 8pm on SBS and finishes 17 December 2015. Visit the Shane Delia's Moorish Spice Journey program page to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes and read our interview with Shane.