On Tour: Maroc – Lamb Shank Tagine With Jewelled Herbed Bulgar Wheat
Over the next months La Petite Bouchée is going on a virtual tour, a tour of French colonies past and we’ll be stopping off at Maroc,Vietnam, Lebanon and Louisiana in the USA. Unlike the British, French colonists followed the principles of “assimilation”, meaning that the French taught their subjects that if they adopted both the language and culture of the motherland, they would eventually become French citizens.
It really didn’t matter how far away the colony was, its size, race or religious beliefs, as long as the language was a first language and the culture was observed, these countries’ citizens were all considered French citizens too. In 1956 after 44 years Morocco regained independence from France although French remains Morocco’s unofficial third language, and is taught universally and serves as Morocco’s primary language of commerce and economics.
Today we’re cooking one of Morocco’s most famous dishes, tagine. Originally from the N. African Tajine, is a slow cooked one-pot meal bursting from the seams with flavour and texture. Served in a traditional Tajine which is a cooking pot with an iconic conical cover. Originally a Berber dish from North Africa, the tagine showcases some of the most aromatic of spices and brings them together with meat, fish or vegetables.
Traditionally low-priced, older, cuts of meat were used because the tagine is slow-cooked and by the time the dish is finished the meat simply falls apart and melts in the mouth. The addition of harissa and preserved lemons adds the most exquisite of flavours and lifts the dish to another level. We’re using lamb shanks today, great for slowly cooking, their flavour just continues to increase as the cooking process continues. We use our own harissa although there are some excellent versions available widely if you are looking to speed up the cooking process.
Look out for our On Tour Maroc event, The Marrakesh Express – coming soon. Think tent, fire pit, cushions, lanterns and the most authentic Moroccan food we can muster, We’ll publish the full menu soon, but until then here’s our recipe for Lamb Shank Tagine and Jewelled, herbed Bulgar Wheat.
- 4 good sized lamb shanks
- Plain flour for dusting
- A large pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A pinch of cumin seeds
- A pinch of smoked paprika
- A glug of olive oil
- A jar of homemade harissa ( the link to make it is on the blog above)
- A tin of chick peas
- 100g of bulgar wheat ( covered with water)
- 4 fresh apricots, finely chopped
- A handful of fresh mint, finely sliced
- A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- A handful of pomegranate seeds
- A glug of garlic oil
- A dusting of sumac
- Place the flour and salt, pepper, cumin and paprika in a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly.
- Add the lamb shanks individually and dust off any excess.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan and add the shanks to brown
- Make sure the shanks are browned all over before removing them and setting to one side
- Add the harissa paste together with some water to deglaze the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Place the shanks in the slow cooker, pour over the harissa sauce add the chick peas and cook on low for 8 hours.
- To make the bulgar wheat salad, add the bulgar wheat to a saucepan and cover with water.
- The bulgar wheat will absorb the water within 10 minutes. Once this has happened stir in the garlic oil and allow to cool slightly.
- Add the herbs and fruit and stir through.
- Place the bulgar wheat salad on a plate, place a lamb shank on top, spoon over the sauce and finally strew with more pomegranate and mint.