Moroccan Lamb Loin Tagine
by Chef Simon Sperling (aperture24 +FOLLOW)
I have visited Morocco only once, a long time ago, for a short vacation on the beach in Agadir. I don’t really remember too much of it honestly, except that the weather was mostly bad.
In more recent years though I have worked with many Moroccan chefs here in the Middle East and through them I have learned to appreciate the flavours of the Moroccan cuisine.
This vegetable tagine here oozes with the flavours of lemon, coriander, cumin and saffron and is served with a modern twist, along a pan seared lamb loin.
For the Lamb Loin
0.800 kilograms (1.76 lb) lamb loin, cleaned of all fat and skin
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
For the Tagine
1 small onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cm ginger, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon green chili, finely diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 cup chick peas, cooked
1 large zucchini, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
6 pieces dates, pitted and coarsely diced
3 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt to taste
few threads of saffron
2 cups peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
10 pieces lemon slices, grilled
fresh coriander sprigs (to garnish)
Season and marinate the lamb loin for a minimum of 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.
Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil and sear the lamb for 2 minutes for each side.
Transfer to an oven at 140 C and roast the loin for another 5 minutes. Timing really depends on your oven. Remove from the oven, cover it and let it rest for a few minutes before carving.
Heat the olive oil in a shallow pot and sauté onion, garlic until a soft, but not brown.
Add ginger, chilli and other ingredients and simmer all until the vegetables are soft and the sauce has slightly thickened. Check seasoning.
Arrange the lamb slices on top of the vegetable tagine and garnish with some toasted sesame seeds, fresh coriander and the lemon slices.
All contents (photograph and recipe) of this post are courtesy of Chef Simon Sperling