Kramer and I had a phenomenal time at GoogaMooga on Saturday, and I feel really bad that they ended up having to cancel the event on Sunday due to the bad weather. If you didn’t get to go, my condolences, because Saturday ruled. We got there right when the gates opened and the rest was just a whirlwind of food, drinks, and outdoor activities. We had a beef tongue pastrami sandwich from Craftbar (with potato chips on the actual sandwich), a smoked meat sandwich from Mile End, duck corn dogs from James, phat Thai from Pok Pok, oysters bolognese from M. Wells, grilled oysters from Maison Premiere, a burger from Umami Burger, and I’m sure a few things in between that I can’t remember. This is all in between tastes of excellent beers and handmade cocktails from the cocktail pavilion. Don’t worry too much, all of this was consumed over the course of many hours – I think my heart may have exploded if I just sat down for a feast of this magnitude, although it was pretty epic. I know that the festival keeps having problems, between the bad lines last year and the weather this year, but I really hope that they can figure out a way to bring it back again next year because it’s always a blast to be able to try food from all over New York in one location, especially when that location is the beautiful Prospect Park.
No, I didn’t cook this in an actual tagine, but don’t worry! The word tagine can refer to both those beautiful cooking vessels and the food that lies within, and I promise that you’re going to want a taste of what’s inside this crock pot. Tender lamb with just the right amount of lovely, marbled fat is slow cooked together with ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice blend), shallots, hot chile peppers, raisins, pine nuts, and a few other tasty additions. Ras el hanout is truly the key ingredient here. You can buy it, or you can just as easily make it on your own by combining chile powder, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric. Kramer and I use ras el hanout on everything from potatoes to asparagus, so we figured that it was about time to use it for something more traditional. This lamb tastes almost buttery, and the sauce and leftover fat are perfect for adding richness to other dishes that you may be cooking up. Plus, there’s nothing as gratifying as having your home engulfed in the sweet and savory aroma of luscious lamb and its spices without having to turn on the stove or the oven. Kramer and I ate this over rice for dinner one night, over a salad for lunch the next day, and once again, for dinner with a fried egg on the following night. Waste not, want not.
All you have to do it put it all in the crock pot, then let it cook.
I promise you, this is insanely good.
- ½ teaspoon chile powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ pounds lamb, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 3 teaspoons ras el hanout (either from the recipe above or store bought)
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 chile peppers, minced (use more or less depending on how much heat you like)
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, plus more for garnish
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup beer, white wine or beef stock
- rice or bread, for serving
- In your crock pot, combine all of your tangine ingredients. Stir to combine, then place on low heat for 6-7 hours (or high for 4 hours, but I recommend the longer cooking time for a more buttery tangine). Taste, adjust seasonings as needed, then serve alongside rice or bread with plenty of juices from the pot and garnish with some additional pine nuts.