Lamb Zagora (with sausages or lamb neck fillet)

My local butcher, David Hubbard in Bury St Edmunds, makes his own delicious sausages in a number of different varieties. I buy his classic pork sausages for breakfast or homely bangers and mash, but his spicy lamb sausages are perfect for braising in the oven with a rich tomato sauce with Moorish spices and yoghurt to add texture and flavour. It’s also a lovely recipe with chunks of lamb neck fillet if you can’t get the sausages. Neck fillet is vastly underrated but quite the best cut of lamb for stews and curries – meltingly tender and full of flavour. It’s perfect with couscous and some cool yoghurt with a little chopped mint and cucumber.

Lamb Zagora

You will need…

  • 12 lamb sausages or 700g of lamb neck fillet cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 x 400g can of tinned tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 medium aubergine, cut into medium sized cubes
  • 1 courgette – sliced thickly
  • 1 pepper – red, green or yellow, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon bark
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 4 small fresh tomatoes, quartered
  • Salt to taste
  • A handful of chopped, fresh coriander

To make…

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  • Add the sausages (or lamb neck fillet chunks) and brown.
  • Transfer to a tagine or an ovenproof casserole dish.
  • Next, add the cinnamon stick, cumin and mustard seeds to the frying pan and allow them to pop. Add the onions and fry gently until softened. Add the garlic and cook through for a few minutes.
  • Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary and brown the aubergine cubes.
  • Add in the courgettes and pepper and cook lightly for a few more minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, chickpeas, bay leaves, dry spices, harissa and Greek yoghurt. Add a cup of water so that the liquid is just below the level of the whole ingredients.
  • Pour over the meat, cover and pop it into the oven for an hour until the sausages or lamb pieces are tender, and the sauce is thickened. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Serve with couscous or flatbread and garnish with the fresh coriander and quartered tomatoes.

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About Janet Davies @pigeoncottage

Food lover, author, cook!
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