lamb tagine express
I hope I didn´t fool you to believe it is one of Nigella´s new dishes;)
I found this recipe on Almost Turkish Recipes and what made me interested was the mode of preparation. (Do check out Burcu´s blog, you´ll find many good recipes there.)
This is a dish cooked in a pressure cooker, which means that after working the steam up (let´s say about 15 minutes) cooking time is only 15 more minutes and voila, you have a delicious lamb stew on the table!
I love lamb, as you can see by looking at the labels, but tagine takes a long time to cook (I see how the title of the post tagine express is a paradox, as tagine is a slow cooked dish), and it´s not often I have that time. I remembered that I had a pressure cooker somewhere on the attic, a wedding gift I received - but never used - for about 17 years ago... I have always felt a bit intimidated by pressure cookers as I´ve heard terrible stories about them exploding when I was a child.
When I finally put the pot on and heard the well-known sound of the steam, it brought back memories. My mother used to cook a lot in her pressure cooker in the 70´ies and 80´ies, and I was suddenly transferred into my childhoods kitchen on a Sunday morning. I must admit I ran out of the kitchen every time the sound from the pc changed and was only peaking in from behind the door...but it went well and I definitely have the intention to start using this wonderful pot again.
I was thinking about trying this recipe and then if it works, adapt favourite tagine recipes for the pressure cooker.
Middle Eastern Lamb Stew
(yields: 3 pers if served with pita, but I imagine it would be enough for 4 if served with couscous)
500g boneless lamb, cut into 2,5cm cubes
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium Chinese eggplants, peeled lengthwise in stripes and diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp crushed hot pepper
salt and pepper
2-3 cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped
*Heat the oil in big pot and brown the meat on all sides.
*Add onion, garlic, and eggplants. Cook until onion is soft.
*Add the remaining ingredients (except for yogurt and mint leaves). Season to taste.
*Cover pressure cooker and first bring to full pressure over high heat and then reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from burner and release the pressure.
*In a bowl mix yogurt and mint leaves.
*Serve the stew with minty yogurt on the side or on the top.
There were no oohs and ahhhs when I took the first mouthful of stew, no flavour explosions, wasn´t too exotic, but then I tried it with the peppermint yogurt and it really did the difference (as Burcu stated on her blog). This is not a dish I would choose if I had a Middle Eastern theme for guests, but this is something I would cook for family and close friends a cold and foggy autumn evening, and that says a lot.