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Lamb Tagine...

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So far my visit to Queensland has been wonderful. I’ve certainly been enjoying the sunshine and the early morning walks with my dad along the beachfront or through the mangroves. Mum and I have found a few charity / Op Shop treasures including a plant stand for the herbs I will be buying for her at Bunnings. We also increased her Fairy / Angel / Cat collection by three figurines (Dad is thrilled….).

The other night we decided to try something completely different and make a lamb tagine. It was the first time my parents used their fancy new tagine and we were excited to take it for a test run. It would have been wonderful if my sister could have been here with us too, but she probably would have pushed for an elk, bison, pheasant or yak tagine instead. I don’t think Mackay is ready for that……

We used this recipe from the brilliant taste.com.au website and highly recommend it.

Lamb Tagine

Ingredients

1.5 kg shoulder lamb, diced (we used 6 shoulder chops)
1 large Spanish onion, grated (we used 2 yellow onions, diced)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
1 cinnamon stick (we used ground cinnamon)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger (we also used 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon saffron threads ( we left these out)
120ml ( 6 Tablespoons) olive oil
1 large piece of orange peel
800g chopped, diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
375ml Campbell’s Real Stock Beef
1 bay leaf we used 3
30g butter, diced
2 Tablespoons honey
240g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup green olives we used Kalamata olives
Chopped fresh mint to garnish

Directions

Combine lamb, onion, garlic, coriander, spices, oil and 1-teaspoon salt in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 160C. Heat a non-stick frying pan, add lamb in batches and fry until lightly browned all over. As meat is cooked, place in a tagine or casserole dish. Add orange peel.

Drain tomatoes, reserving juice. Set tomatoes aside. Combine juice with tomato paste, then add to meat with stock and bay leaf. Cover and cook in oven for 1.5 hours.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a plate. Place dish over high heat ( if using a tagine you will need to transfer the liquid to a frying pan).

Add diced tomatoes and butter and reduce for 2-minutes, then add honey, chick peas, olives and meat.

Cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes. Garnish with mint.

NOTE:
My parents have a tagine with a stainless steel base, which made the whole process even easier as we didn’t have to worry about transferring the liquid and we were able to cook it on the hob rather than in the oven.

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The leftovers were great on mashed potatoes!

Enjoy!

Happy Hour Cocktail: Mackay Martini...

My parents house move was successful and they are now busily settling in to their new home.

One of the house warming gifts they received was a bag of bush lemons from a friend’s garden. I had never heard of them before and they are certainly strange looking things.

They have a very intense lemon flavour which adds a wonderful fresh zing. I use lemon zest on pasta, in salads, soups, in muffins, breads and on yoghurt. It really brings a fresh summery pick me up to so many dishes.

Lemon juice is ideal for salad dressings, marinades and as an addition to drinks – particularly cocktails.

Last night for happy hour I decided to make one of my favourite drinks: a gin martini. A martini needs a good helping of lemon peel and it gave me a great excuse to try the bush lemons.

It was lemony and delicious and provided a welcome happy hour break from unpacking boxes!

Luna Raye’s Mackay Martini

Ingredients

1 ounce good quality gin ( Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray are ideal choices)

1 capful of dry vermouth

3 generous strips of bush lemon peel (if you can’t get ahold of bush lemons use the peel from regular UNWAXED lemons).

Add about 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice.

Directions

In a glass add 3 ice cubes.

Add the capful of dry vermouth and swish around the glass coating the ice cubes and bottom half of the glass.

Add the ounce of gin.

Add the bush lemon peel and juice.

(If you aren’t using bush lemons then add the unwaxed peel and juice of a regular lemon).

Enjoy!

If only the oven was working I would love to use the lemons to make a lemon drizzle cake.

Bush Lemon

Bush Lemon an essential ingredient in the Mackay Martini

Mackay Martini

Mackay Martini