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Real Food: Abraham's Mutton Tagine

One of the great boons of our immigrants is the wonderful ingredients they bring.

Spiceland on Richmond Street in Portobello stocks food from Pakistan, Bosnia, Russia and North Africa (the owner, Abraham, is from Libya). You will find halal meats, Georgian bread (made in Finglas), Libyan honey, Tunisian olive oil and lots and lots of spices.

Spiceland have also opened up a souk next door selling couscousieres, Turkish coffee makers and tajines. I picked up a huge tajine for €25.

Abraham's Mutton Tajine

Feel free to use any ovenproof dish (cover with tinfoil). Feel free to omit the meat or add honey, preserved lemon, prunes, apricots, aubergines, etc.

Ingredients: 2kg mutton (or lamb or chicken); 3kg of veg (onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, squash, tomatoes); coriander, Ras el Hanout spice, garlic, ginger.

Brown the meat in oil and set aside. Brown the onions, add remaining veg and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the meat.

Finely chop the coriander, ginger and garlic; add 3-4 quartered tomatoes and 3-4tbs Ras el Hanout spice mix or use a mix of cumin, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix into the veg and meat, adding a good splash of strong olive oil.

Finely slice some potatoes and line the bottom of the tajine or dish. Add the veg and meat and press firmly into place. Add a teacup of water, cover and cook in the oven at Gas 4/180C for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Check after one hour and add more liquid if needed. Serve with rice, flat bread or couscous.

Leslie is on Twitter; lesliesrealfood