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Author Notes: Dates are often included in tagines, but rhubarb is a little more unusual. In this recipe the rhubarb provides that essential sour taste to contrast with the sweet dates. Some recipes suggest mixing rhubarb into a dish but I prefer to cook the rhubarb separately to preserve is colour and shape. —morning glory
For the tagine
- 500 grams lamb neck fillet, cut into large cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 25 grams butter
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon ras el hanout (see ingredient list below)
- .5 grams saffron
- 300 grams chopped tinned tomatoes
- 6 plump medjool dates
- 2 thin sticks or (one fat stick) of rhubarb
- 3 tablespoons water
- salt to taste
- Toasted pine nuts and white sesame seeds to sprinkle
For the ras el hanout
- 6 cloves
- 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
- 1 blade of mace
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons dried hor red chillies (or use 1 tbsp of ground hot chillie)
- Make the ras el hanout by finely grinding all the whole spices and then mixing in the dried spices and grated nutmeg. This mix will be enough for several tangines. Store in an air-tight jar.
- Heat the oil in a tagine or casserole dish. Add the lamb and brown lightly all over.
- Remove the lamb and add the chopped onion and butter and cook until golden.
- Replace the lamb and add the tomatoes, saffron and ras el hanout, dates and 3 tbsp water.
- Cook over a gentle heat, covered until the lamb is soft and tender (approx. 1 hour). Add salt to taste
- When the lamb is almost ready, chop the rhubarb into chunks and poach in a little water until just softened but still retaining their shape.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Dates