Recipe of the Month – Vincent Price’s Moroccan Tajine

Did you have a lovely Halloween?  I sure did!  Mr Rathbone came as Vincent Price (naturally), and we took a specially posed picture of him adding the finishing touches to this dish, just as Vincent did…

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I must admit, I thought that this was a slightly odd way of cooking a leg of lamb (us Brits usually just stick it in the oven and roast the heck out of it) but it was DELICIOUS and really surprised me.  Succulent and flavoursome.  Double thumbs up, and therefore recipe of the month for November.

I don’t usually brag about my dinner parties (or do I?!), but I’m going to give you links to everything I served with Vincent’s lamb, because it all worked so well together.  This does not always happen, believe me.  I don’t have any Moroccan recipe books, so I went on a trawl round the internet, and selected things I thought sounded good.  So if you fancy a fully formed menu, this could be it…

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We had much Halloween type merriment, mostly fuelled by the booze brought by Gomez and Morticia!

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A most excellent Halloween!

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Vincent Price’s Lamb Tajine (or Tagine if you prefer) – recipe at the end of the post…

Spicy & Citrusy Couscous Salad from fine cooking.com

Easy Harissa Sweet Potato Wedges – from sneakyveg.com

Spiced Green Lentils – from Ruth Watson’s “Fat Girl Slim”

Roasted Peppers with Preserved Lemons – from Maroque.co.uk

Ooooooh, it was all so good!  Here’s the lamb recipe…

Vincent Price’s Moroccan Tagine from Cooking Price-Wise

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1 leg of lamb

1 medium onion

1 clove garlic

Pepper

Saffron

Salt

Oil

For the sauce

4 oz  / 115g raisins

4 coarsely chopped onions

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons honey

4 oz / 115g whole blanched almonds fried gently in butter

NB – I wasn’t sure I could fit a whole leg of lamb in my biggest casserole dish so I bought two half legs and that worked fine.  I admit, the lamb was from a supermarket, and I used the cooking times and temperature recommended on the packaging as guidance, as Vincent is a bit vague…   I wonder now reading through the recipe, whether Vincent cooked the lamb on top of the stove for the first hour and three quarters and then put it in the oven?  I cooked mine in the oven throughout though.  Perfect!

Cover the bottom of a large pan with about 1/4 inch oil.  Heat gradually with coarsely chopped onion, crushed garlic clove, add 1 teaspoon each of saffron, pepper and salt.  When hot add the lamb, baste well and cover with tight-fitting lid.  Leave on slow heat for 1/4 hour, basting occasionally.  Then add one cup of water and leave to cook for one hour or more.

Place lamb in baking-tray with a little of the juice in which it has been cooked and put in a moderate oven (Gas Mark 5, 375 F, 190 C) to brown.  This takes about 5 minutes for each side.

Sauce

Soak raisins in water for 10 minutes.  Heat in a saucepan 1/2 inch oil, the four chopped onions, the raisins and cinnamon.  Cook over a moderate heat, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and brown (approx 1/2 hour).  Add honey to the mixture.

Presentation

Serve the Tajine on a large platter surrounded by the sauce.  Decorate with the almonds.  This dish is traditionally served with plenty of bread.

Thanks Vincent, for your delicious way of serving lamb.  Yum, yum!

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