This dish is a wonderful mix of sweet and a little savory. The spices blend with the sweet fruit for a delectable mix of new! It also happens to be a fairly easy dish and I had all the ingredients on hand…but don’t let the easy part stop you from trying this dish!
Tajine Lamb and Sweet Plums
One and half ratls of meat, four uiqiyahs of prunes, a half ratl of onions, the weight of half and a quarter dirhams of saffron, and two and a half uqiyahs of raisins, and four uqiyahs of good quality wine vinegar in a pot large enough. Boil the meat without spices. When it is done, add the measure of a ratl and a half of water. When the water boils, wash the onions cut them….Add them to this meat and leave to boil, letting the onions cook part way. Then add to the pot the prunes which were soaked in water; raisins and jubjubes done in the same manner. Leave to cook until the prunes and raisins sweeten. If you wish, add three uqiyahs of sugar to the mixture after it comes to a boil. Dilute the saffron and add it. When it comes to a hard boil, throw mint in it and atraf al-tib and lower the heat. (Kanz al-Fawd’id fi Tanwi al-Mawa’id/Salloum, pp. 49)
1 ½ lbs lamb (or beef or chicken)
1 pinch saffron
½ C dried prunes
1 Tbs jujubes
½ C raisons
4 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs dried mint
½ C honey or sugar.
Gather everything together.
Soak the raisons and prunes in warm water or a sweet wine.
Add the meat to water. Don’t drown the meat. Use just enough water to cover. Here I’ve used lamb neck bones. I get a slightly fatty meat with excellent marrow. This is not a standard cut of meat but one that should be tried occasionally for tender and very tasty!
Next boil the meat until done and the water had reduced by half. Add the chopped onions.
Next, while the onions are cooking with the meat, drain the prunes, raisons and jujubes.
Add the prunes, raisons and squished jujubes to the pot.
Next add the spices and saffron.
Add in the basalmic vinegar and saffron. Taste. If the taste is a bit sour add sugar or honey till it is a just sweet enough.
This is fork tender and so very very tasty. You can serve this with rice or carrots or cabbage and you wouldn’t be wrong. You may want to make a slightly larger pot then intended as this dish goes fast!