David & Feng say Thank You!

Feng & David (aka wordpress alter egos – Squeaky Mouse & Slackenerny) have tied the knot! We foolishly decided to make (almost) everything for our wedding reception.

Earlier in the week, David went to Ho’s Bakery in Manchester to pick up some buns. I had pre-made vegetarian dumplings which were hibernating in the freezer. However, there was a lot of cooking that I couldn’t do so far in advance.

The cooking marathon started at 7am the day before our wedding; deep-frying, wrapping, roasting, blitzing, chopping, peeling and carving on top of cleaning & clearing! We were at the end of our tethers by midnight (and flowers had not been arranged yet)…

Anyway, it was a lovely day and we’d like to thank everyone who came & shared our wedding day with us. We’d love to be able to cook you all dinner, but alas that isn’t possible, so we’ve sent you a packet of ras el hanout that we picked up on our honeymoon. I hope you have time to cook this recipe – and enjoy!

David & Feng’s Thank You Tagine

Serves 4  (feel free to adapt)

50g dried fruit – apricot or sultanas

1 ½  tbsp olive oil

500g diced lamb, mutton or beef

½ of something oniony – leek or onion or shallots

1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp extra special ras el hanout

200g tinned tomatoes

150ml stock of your choice

1 ½ tbsp ground almonds

500g vegetables (courgette, mushrooms, peppers etc.)

a handful of olives

½ butternut squash, pumpkin or sweet potato

2 tomatoes, (skinned if you can be bothered) and quartered

1 or 2 birds eye red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped

1. Place dried fruit in a bowl, cover with 75ml boiling water or tea & leave to soak.

2. Preheat oven GM4. Heat up 1 tbsp olive oil in a flameproof casserole & brown your chosen meat in batches and set aside. Add the remaining oil, the oniony things and cook gently for 10mins until soft & golden. Add the garlic & spices and cook for a further 2 mins. Then return the meat to the casserole.

3. Add the dried fruit & soaking liquid, canned tomatoes & stock. Stir in salt, ground almonds. Heat to simmering point, cover & cook in the oven for 1 hr.

4. Add the vegetables, squash, tomatoes & chili(s) with a little extra water if needed. Cook in oven for 45mins.

5. Season to taste.  Serve with couscous.

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