Lamb and dill tagine

To buy or not to buy a tagine might be a bit of a controversial question – is it worth the money and space? Does it really make a difference? If you’re contemplating buying one, I’d say it’s definitely worth it if you’re going to use it – there’s something very satisfying about leaving the ingredients to cook in the clay pot for several hours, giving it an amazing flavour and texture. However, you could also make this dish in an ovenproof dish covered with tinfoil, cooked at 160c for 2 hours.

This recipe is a combination of various recipes and uses chermoula; a marinade with lemon, oil, herbs (mainly dill), and garlic, to give the lamb plenty of flavour before cooking. Dill and lamb is such a classic combination in Swedish cooking, typically found in Dillkött (‘dill meat’) which has a sweet and sour combination that I absolutely love. The dill and lamb combo works perfectly in a tagine, and the lemon adds a similar tartness, making it a Mediterranean dish with flavours reminiscent of a Nordic dish.

Serves 4-6 | Prep: 30m + 1h | Cooking: 2h

450g diced lamb leg or shoulder
2 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, chopped
400g can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 beef stock cube

Juice of 2 lemons
Saffron strands (3-5) soaked in 2 tbsp water
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp paprika, ground
1 tbsp Ras El Hanout spice
2 large handfuls of dill, chopped
coriander and parsley to taste, chopped

To serve
Sliced almonds and raisins
Spiced saffron rice (cooked with cinnamon, star anise, and cloves)

Prepare the chermoula by combining the all the ingredients and mixing them together. Coat the lamb with the chermoula and leave to marinade for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

To prepare the tagine, coat the dish with 2 tbsp olive oil and add the onion to create a base. You can add some paprika and salt to the onions and mix everything together. Place the lamb and chickpeas over the onions and place the lid over the dish.

Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes, making sure that you use a diffuser if you have a gas or electric cooker. Give everything a stir and add the tomato pure and stock cube. Cook for around 1 hour on low heat. If there is too much liquid after an hour, you can cook it for another 15 minutes without the lid on.

Finish the dish with sliced almonds and raisins and serve with spiced saffron rice.