Tweet Tagine

   

I was intrigued by Maureen Evans’ tweeted recipes in the April 22, 2009 New York Times, both for what’s in them and how they are told.  The article extolled their compact and elegant virtues, but it wasn’t without a little homework.  For her Honeyed Tagine, essentially a lamb stew, I needed to consult Cook’s Illustrated, as I’ve never cooked lamb before.  First,  what kind of lamb?  Only one pound of lamb, or yam, is specified.  I learned that it’s the shoulder, which I got from the halal butcher, who then cut the slab into 1-inch pieces on his bandsaw.  The truncated technique of the tweet more or less matched the multi-pargraphed version in Cook’s Illustrated, the main difference being a longer cooking time at a lower temperature – 250 degrees for 2 hours instead of 400 degrees for an hour – which makes sense for a more tender, collagen enriched braise.  Otherwise, the proportion of spice, aromatics and sweet was very similar to CI’s Moroccan Lamb Stew.  A nice addition at the end is a cup of garbanzo beans baked in for the last 15 minutes.  Now that I have my technique down, I can see myself making it from shorthand in the future.

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