I knew when I woke up this morning that I needed double the hours in my diary to get everything done. On days like this I don’t want my nutrition to be the bottom priority – and it’s even more important to have an enjoyable meal in the evening.
Tagines are the ultimate quick-prep-slow-cook meal option and today’s recipe was cobbled together using some meat I got out of the freezer last night and a quick root around the fridge this morning. If you haven’t got a tagine you can always use a slow cooker – or vice versa.
- 500g organic pork collar (or similar) cut into large chunks (meat)
- 300g butternut squash cut into chunks (vegetable)
- 1 medium cooking apple cored and sliced into chunks (fruit)
- 1 leek sliced into 1″ rounds (onion)
- 6 cloves of garlic in their skins
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste ( I like the Belazu Rose Harissa)
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 4″ stick of cinnamon
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- a few chunks of lemon peel
- salt and pepper
- extra chilli to taste
- Prepare all the above ingredients and toss together to evenly distribute spices.
- Place the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 3 hours.
- Taste, if you can, at the 2 hour point and adjust seasoning – more or less salt? extra chilli? a dash of pomegranate molasses?
- Serve with broccoli or cavolo nero, a dollop of natural yoghurt and some coriander leaves.
The recipe above can be endlessly varied by chopping and changing the meat, vegetable, fruit and onion combination. For example:
- Meat: beef, lamb, pork, chicken, venison
- Vegetable: squash, courgette, carrot, sweet potato, red pepper, tomatoes
- Fruit: cooking apple, dried prunes or apricots,
- Onion: onion, shallots, leeks, etc.
The spices can also be varied according to taste: cinnamon, cumin, coriander seeds, cardamom, cayenne, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cloves – experiment with different flavour combinations.
NB You can get a more authentic flavour from a tagine but they need to be watched a little more carefully. Still a great fast food option though.