How to Cook this Moroccan Dish
Go to butchers and demand he bone a leg of lamb for you. Brook no lip from butcher and stand on 'de liver' if you have to. Further insist that he dice the remaining meat and give it to you for a reasonable number of the Queen's folding. Admonish butcher for his tardiness and general attitude and leave whilst imparting some sage advice starting with, 'In my day...' and ending with '... young man'.
Brown meat in chosen, humongous, great big pot. This is best done a little at a time so take a book into the kitchen as it is an occupation so boring as to test the patience of a Tibetan monk on valium. Hose down kitchen to remove fat splashes. Have fag1.
Remove browned meat and set carefully aside (noting location of cats, dogs or other interested bystanders). Fry at least two chopped onions in the same oil as the meat was browned in, ensuring that some groovy caramelisation is going on. Add chopped celery and carrots. Stir. Have fag.
Add chopped garlic (five or six cloves) and chillies (five or six of the little green vicious sods will do the job). Pour in half a bottle of red wine (you will probably need to go for a lie down to cope with this outlandish and excessive use of alcohol) and rejoice in the smell. Stir well at this time to get the good stuff from bottom of pan into sauce, otherwise it will burn. This is technically known as 'deglazing' - like waking up from a hangover.
Add bucketloads of chopped mint, parsley and coriander. Reintroduce meat and add a couple of tins of chopped tomatoes, half a pint of stock, four tablespoons of honey, four cinnamon sticks, two tablespoons of paprika, salt and black pepper to taste. Give it a stir. Have another fag.
Add as many dried apricots as you think your bottom can handle, bring to boil, turn heat way down and simmer for four or five hours (yes, really) unless you have invested in a pressure cooker which will reduce cooking time to a quarter of an hour. Add a packet of flaked, blanched almonds and reduce until desired consistency obtained (thick and gooey is good). Discover you are too exhausted to eat.
Have a nap (smoking is not advised here).
Awake and adopt smug smile; rediscover appetite. Proceed to recover tajine and consume in the knowledge that a good day's work has been done.
Relax with a nice, post-prandial, fag.