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I am convinced this is THE tajine of spring. As soon as I see the first artichokes in the market my mind immediately races to this dish. Eaten out of season it just isn't quite as good.
I love the combinations that this tajine brings together. Sometimes everything just becomes mush and the same taste but when done right this is a dream come true. The artichokes become creamy, the peas are a sweet pop of flavor, the meat adds a heavier component and the spices pop up a mixture of tastes in your mouth.
This recipe is best when made with fresh artichokes and fresh green peas however if you can only get frozen it will work too. I like to soak both in warm water before adding to the tajine, bringing them up to room temperature. I find they suck in the flavors of the dish better and don't water it down.
- 1 1/2 - 2 lbs lamb or mutton
- 1 medium onion sliced into rings
- 2-3 artichokes cleaned
- 1/2 preserved lemon cut into several pieces
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp crushed or minced garlic
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 c water
- In a bowl whisk together olive oil, cumin, garlic, pepper and turmeric.
- In the bottom of a medium tajine add the artichokes and sliced onions to create a bed for the lamb.
- Clean and trim the pieces of lamb removing some of the fat (but not all!)
- Place the lamb on top of the onions and artichokes.
- Drizzle the lamb with the oil and spice mixture, rubbing the mixture into the meat.
- Place the pieces of preserved lemon around the tajine, slipping between the meat and vegetables.
- Add the 1/2 cup of water to the tajine. Do not pour directly on top of the meat but around the edges.
- Cover the tajine and place on the stovetop, making sure to use a diffuser if cooking on an electric burner.
- Cook for 1 hour on low-medium heat. Check by lifting the lid and using a spoon to pour the liquid on top of the meat. Add more water if needed.
- Cover and cook until the meat is tender and falling apart and the liquid in the tajine has reduced to a medium/thick sauce.
- Serve with a crusty bread and eat hot.