The ffest off the Cockentryce: Tajine ah Sikbah

This isn’t quite British, but because foreign curries are almost as British as crumpets, I thought it would be interesting to include a very early British spin on Tajine. I changed it a little though just to make it awesome. This was the big winner of the night. I would eat this every day.

FOR TO STEWE MUTTON
Take a necke of mutton and a brest to make the broth stronge and then scum it cleane and when it hath boyled a while, take part of the broth and put it into another pot and put thereto a pound of raisins and let them boyle till they be tender, then strayne a little bread with the Raisins and the broth all together, then chop time, sawge and Persley with other small hearbes and put into the mutton then put in the strayned raysins with whole prunes, cloves and mace, pepper, saffron and a little salt and if ye may stew a chicken withall or els sparrowes or such other small byrdes.

Ingredients

  • 20 lbs of Schatzie’s lamb shoulder, cut into small pieces
    • obviously this was a large amount and it can be scaled down – but don’t forget half the original weight is bone
  • 4 large red onions
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 1/3 lbs dried apricots
  • 1 lb dried prunes
  • 3 TB 5-spice mix
  • 1 TB salt
  • pinch of saffron
  • 4 cups red wine
  • 2 liters stock
    • I used my own homemade stocks so it was a combination of chicken, chicken & veg, beet, and “thanksgiving dinner stock” which is what it sounds like

Preparation

Put a bit of oil or grease of your choice in a big pot (I used olive oil) and heat over medium heat.

Generously salt and pepper the lamb on both sides and put the lamb in the pot, making sure every piece of lamb has some contact with the bottom of the pan. If there isn’t enough space, you can do batches, or you can do my lazy-batch method and once the bottom layer is seared, push all those pieces to the side and add lamb to exposed half, and repeat until all lamb has been seared on at least one side (2-side searing is better). Roughly chop and add the onions and lemons. Once everything is seared, add the wine, seasonings, and dried fruit, and then add stock until the meat is almost covered in liquid. Bring to a boil, stir together, then turn down to simmer, and then leave it alone for 7 hours. You read right. Making less meat? Sorry, still 7 hours. You can stir once every couple of hours, if you want to.

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