Friday, October 3, 2014

The recipe for this delicious tagine was collected by a Peace Corps girl, who liked it so much she made up copies and handed them around to all her friends.

Working time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Serves: 4 to 5

  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 
  • 1½-inch chunks 
  • 3 tablespoons salad oil or butter 
  • 1 scant cup grated onion 
  • Pinch of pulverized saffron 
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2 small cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley 
  • 2½ pounds zucchini, preferably small ones 
  • 1½ to 2 teaspoons za’atar, or one or a combination of thyme, marjoram, orégano

  1. Trim and discard the excess fat from the lamb, then gently brown on all sides in oil or butter. 
  2. Add the grated onion, spices, salt, garlic, and parsley, tossing to coat the meat. 
  3. Pour in 2 cups water and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 1½ hours, or until the meat is almost falling off the bones. 
  5. Add small amounts of water whenever necessary. 
  6. Meanwhile, wash, top, and tail the zucchini and cut into 3/4-inch slices. 
  7. Salt lightly and let drain 20 minutes, then rinse and drain again. 
  8. Sprinkle with the za’atar, finely crushed between the fingertips. 
  9. Set aside. 
  10. When the meat is fully cooked, remove it from the casserole, arrange in one layer in the ovenproof serving dish, and cover with foil to keep warm. 
  11. Add the zucchini to the sauce in the casserole and cook 10 minutes. 
  12. Remove the partially cooked zucchini slices and, removing the foil, cover the meat attractively with them. 
  13. Preheat the oven to 350°. 
  14. By boiling rapidly, uncovered, reduce the sauce to a thick gravy (about 1 cup), pour over meat and zucchini, replace the foil, and bake 20 minutes. 
  15. Serve at once, with a small sprinkling of extra herbs.


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