Yogurt Lamb and Pea Tagine
It’s been a while since I’ve made a tagine. The chicken tray bake with olives and preserved lemons that I made a few months ago is probably the closest thing I’ve eaten in a long while. Needless to say, I missed it. A lot. A quasi tagine-less winter is a first for me, I must say, but between the birth of a baby and a persistent post-partum sweet tooth, I’m hoping you’ll forgive me. Will you?
It is not pea season where I live but since I don’t mind frozen vegetables, this was hardly a problem. Peas, especially, seem to remain sweet, tender and full of flavor despite a long ice coma. Pea season in Florida is supposed to start in late January but I haven’t seen any in the market yet. As soon as they appear I feel that spring is almost here even though we’re still smack dab in the middle of winter. Peas are magical like that. I think it’s the color.
I was a little bit adventurous with this particular tagine. I made it with yogurt, which is not quite the usage. Along with lemon it yielded a fresh tangy sauce that accentuated the peas and livened up the sauce. It was lovely.
YOGURT, LAMB TAGINE WITH PEAS RECIPE
Yield: 4 SERVINGS
Prep Time: 10 MIN
Cook Time: 60 MIN
1 1/4 pounds lamb or veal stew meat (preferably shoulder), cut into chunks
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves minced
2 cups vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen peas
For serving (optional)
Thinly shaved radishes
Place the meat in a large non-reactive bowl. Add the salt, pepper, ginger, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, curry, cinnamon, lemon juice and yogurt. Toss to combine. Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes, if possible.
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and onion until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the meat-yogurt mixture and bring to a simmer. Add the vegetable broth. Cover with a lid and cook for 50 minutes. Add the peas and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
Let the tagine cool off a bit to allow the yogurt sauce to thicken. Serve garnished with sliced radishes and minced parsley.