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Gwyneth Paltrow's lamb tagine with squash and chickpeas

23 APRIL 2013
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Serves 4-6
Preparation time 15 minutes, plus marinating and resting
Cooking time 2 ½ hrs

Ingredients
• 100g/4oz coriander leaves, plus 2 tbsp roughly chopped for serving
• 6 cloves garlic, peeled
• 5cm/2in piece of root ginger, peeled
• 1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Coarse sea salt
• 1kg/2 1/4lb boneless lamb top round, cut into 5cm/2in pieces
• A pinch of saffron
• 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock
• 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 700g/1 1/2lb butternut squash, stemmed, deseeded and cut into 5cm/2in pieces
• 1 small preserved lemon, finely chopped

Method
1. Combine the 100g/4oz coriander leaves with the garlic, ginger, onion, cumin, black pepper and olive oil in a blender along with a large pinch of salt. Blend everything together until completely puréed.

2. Place the lamb in a large bowl and pour over the marinade. Using your hands, make sure every bit of meat is completely covered with the marinade. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours, overnight if possible.

3. Take the lamb out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for ½ hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3 and place the lamb, along with all of the marinade, into a large, heavy pot set over a medium-high heat. Cook, stirring now and then, until completely browned all over – a good 15 minutes (do this in batches if the lamb doesn’t fit into your pot in 1 layer). Once the lamb is just browned, sprinkle it with the saffron, stir to combine and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits that might have stuck to the bottom. Turn the heat off.

5. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside the pot, crunch it up into a ball, and wet it. Smooth out the damp parchment and lay it over the lamb like a blanket (this will help keep in the moisture). Put the lid on the pot and tuck it into the oven for 1½ hours. Take the lid off the pot and set aside the parchment. Stir the chickpeas and squash into the pot, put the parchment back and the lid on, and return the pot to the oven for a final ½ hour. The lamb should be meltingly tender and the squash should be cooked through but not disintegrated.

6. Season the tagine to taste with salt and serve immediately, scattered with the preserved lemon and the chopped coriander.

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