Lamb kofta tagine

Lamb kofta tagine with jewelled couscous and tahini yoghurt dressing from The Living Space head chef, Adam Stock.

Tagine

Kofta ingredients

1kg lamb mince
150g breadcrumbs
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp ras-el-hanout
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 cloves of garlic, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp dried mint
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

Sauce ingredients

2 medium onions, grated
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup saffron water
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 pinches cayenne
Pinch of ground turmeric
400g chopped tomatoes, drained
Salt to taste
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
2 tbsp roughly chopped preserved lemon
1 tsp of honey
Handful of kalamata olives

Kofta

Combine the minced lamb, breadcrumbs, paprika, ras-el-hanout, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper, parsley, mint and fresh coriander in a food processor.

Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Shape the meat mixture balls and place on an oven tray.

Bake on a high heat 220/230 degrees centigrade for 8 minutes to colour and part cook.

If you think you may not have seasoned the meatballs sufficiently with salt and pepper, pinch off a tiny bit of a meatball, fry it up in a skillet, and taste it. Season the meat mixture accordingly.

Sauce

Place a tagine on a heat diffuser, if you have one, over medium-low heat. If not use a heavy casserole dish over a hob.

Add the grated onion, butter, saffron water, spices and the tomatoes, salt and lastly fresh coriander.

Slowly raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently to blend the flavors, about 15 minutes.

Add the kofta, or meatballs, to the sauce and poach, covered, for 30 minutes.

Add the preserved lemon, honey and olives to the sauce.

Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Cous cous ingredients

1 preserved lemon
20g butter
A handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
80g cooked and cut green beans
80g diced dried fruit (any combination of cherries, cranberries, apricots or golden raisins)
65g unsalted (shelled) pistachios
40g mixed toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried mint
200g Israeli couscous
Freshly ground black pepper

Cous cous

Finely dice the preserved lemon rind and add it to the bowl along with the butter, parsley, green beans, dried fruit, pistachios, seeds, salt, cinnamon and mint.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the couscous and cook according to the package instructions.

Drain and add it to the bowl of fruits, nuts and seeds, stirring until the butter is melted and all the ingredients are well mixed.

Season with black pepper and serve.

Dressing ingredients

1 tbsp tahini paste, at room temperature
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
100g strained yoghurt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Salt to taste

Dressing

Combine all the ingredients and whisk together.

Finish the dish with pomegranate seeds and micro coriander.

Ras-el-hanout is a spice mix from North Africa. The name is Arabic for “head of the shop” and implies a mixture of the best spices the seller has to offer. Ras el hanout is used in many savory dishes, sometimes rubbed on meat or stirred into rice.

There is no definitive combination of spices that makes it up. Each shop, company, or person may have their own blend. The mixture may consist of over a dozen spices. Commonly used ingredients include cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ground chili peppers, coriander, cumin, peppercorn, paprika, fenugreek, and turmeric.

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