Lamb or beef tagine...

I had a frugal last week of hardly spending anything. It's been my birthday and after a chaotic but enjoyable week of eating out I am now feeling the pinch and also that my jeans are a little bit tighter... dam you chocolate cake(s)!!

This week I have had a supper party of friends I haven't seen in a long old time... to save me being in the kitchen all evening on the night so enjoy maximum catching up I am cooking ahead. This dish is so easy and tasty it will be a staple dish for years to come...it will also serve a few extra hungry mouths the evening after. It's also under 400cals per portion so it's a pretty healthy choice too.

To serve 6 you will need:

1kg of lean braising steak or lamb - get the best quality you can
1 x butternut squash -cut into chunks (de-seeded also)
1 large white onion chopped 
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas
2 x tins of chopped tomatoes
Coriander - stalks n all
800ml vegetable stock
200g prunes - stones out, roughly pull into pieces
4 table spoons of crushed shelled pistachios

spice mix:

Sea salt and ground black pepper to season
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons of Ras El Hanout
2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons of sweet paprika

Firstly mix all your spices and ginger together in a bowl.

Add the meat and give it a good mixing to get all the pieces covered in the rub. 

Cover and set aside for a minimum of 1.5hrs - to get the best flavour do this over night to marinate.

Once marinated, heat a generous glug of olive oil in a lidded casserole dish/pan (to cook on the hob) and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Add onion and coriander stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. 

Chickpeas and tomatoes next, then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover and reduce to a simmer for 1½ hours.

Once simmered, add your squash, the prunes and the rest of the stock plus 1/2 a tin of water measured in your tomato can. Give everything a gentle stir (you don't want to meat and squash falling apart),lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½ hours.


Once the time is up, take the lid off. If it seems a bit too watery, add a teaspoon of cornflour to some water and mix into a paste, add this to the dish and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more, without the lid. It should be a decently thick consistency.

Taste and season with a pinch of salt. Scatter the coriander leaves (I omitted this as I don't love the stuff) over the tagine along with the crushed pistachios serve with my mums cous cous - delicious!

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