Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lamb Tagine with Prunes, Apricots, and Vegetables (Page 510)


  • Date: Sunday, March 8, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

The Beef, Veal, Pork, and Lamb section of The Book is one of my slowest, so I made a couple lamb recipes in a row to try to make some progress in that section. For this recipe I started by taking some lamb shoulder chops and cutting the meat from the bones then cutting the meat into pieces. I browned the meat in oil and then browned the bones. I cooked some onions, then added the meat, the bones, water, saffron, salt, and pepper. I simmered it until the lamb was tender, then removed the meat and discarded the bones. I added pieces of carrot and sweet potato and cooked until tender, then added ground ginger, cinnamon, prunes, dried apricots, and yellow squash and cooked until the squash was tender. Then I added the meat and a bit of honey, then seasoned with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. I served it with couscous. This recipe was fine. It was a perfectly respectable version of lamb tagine, but lamb tagine has never been my favorite. Lamb tagine is often very sweet, and this was no exception -- this recipe was too sweet for my taste. The honey was optional, and I only added about half of the optional quantity. I regretted adding it at all though, and if I made it again I would certainly leave it out. Even without the honey though, the fruits and vegetables appearing in this dish were very sweet. Aside from the extreme sweetness, it had a good flavor to it. The lamb was perfectly cooked, and most of the fruits/vegetables were as well. The one exception was the sweet potatoes, which overcooked so much that they completely disintegrated into the stew. I didn't love this dish, but that mainly reflects personal preference. If you like lamb tagine, you will probably like this version.

Here is the recipe.

One of my closest friends (and college roommates) used to get up early every morning when we were in college and run a few miles before starting the rest of her day. When I rolled out of bed she was inevitably back from her run, showered, and eating breakfast. The summer after we graduated she worked at the White House and I didn't see her for a few months. When I saw her again, she had clearly lost weight. She was a thin person to begin with, so I was concerned that something bad had happened to trigger the weight loss. I asked her, "You look really skinny -- are you ok?" Even now, almost seven years later, I remember her response very vividly, "Yeah, I'm fine. My job is just so busy that I haven't had any time to run."

At the time I was very confused. She had lost weight because she stopped running? It seemed to me very counterintuitive. But now, I completely understand. When I train, I eat constantly. I ran seven miles yesterday and I feel like I have been eating ever since -- and I'm still hungry! I only eat when I am hungry, and when I am hungry I eat whatever I am craving. When I run, though, I am hungry all the time!

When I trained for the half marathon this past fall, I definitely gained a couple pounds. I bought a pair of jeans that fit while I was training and after not running for a few months, they were practically falling off! Since I started training again a few weeks ago a couple people have asked me if I am running to get in shape for my wedding. That makes me laugh. Actually my one concern about training now is that I will gain weight and my wedding dress won't fit! Hopefully that won't happen!


Rachel said...

And now I'm DYING to run to get back in pre-pregnancy shape...! Can you move back here so we can train together?

Teena said...

I would love to train with you! But it doesn't look like I am going to be moving to Boston any time soon...