A Perfect Pantry

Pressure Cooker Lamb Tagine

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    I am old enough to recall Pressure Cookers in their first incarnation and can tell you with confidence they were once a frightening appliance to use, prone as they were to exploding under pressure because their contents were inadequately sealed. Of course, their real value, that of speedy meals for time-poor families, made way for microwaves and an entire generation of cooks forgot all about them.

    Thank goodness they are fashionable appliances again.

    First of all, all the safety issues of the past have been addressed with special locks and switch off functions that make exploding pressure cookers a dim memory. It’s simply impossible to open a lid that is still under pressure.

    So with that concern addressed, let’s look at all the good things about pressure cookers. Not only does it cut your cooking time down to less than a third but the pressurised process seals in all the nutritional goodness of the food, unlike microwave ovens for example.  And unlike slow cookers, pressure cookers really DO reduce and intensify the liquid in your meal giving it that richness and depth of flavour of oven-cooked casseroles without the lengthy time involved.

    And the best reason of all: It cooks cheaper, tougher cuts of meat to melting, unctuous perfection in an obscenely quick time.  THIS is the appliance with which to cook chuck steak, lamb shanks, goat curries, hogget and mutton, beef cheeks and spare ribs to incredible tenderness.  In fact I would go so far as to advice you to only use secondary cuts of meat in this appliance and to seek out the cheapest cuts you can. It even cooks chickpeas to silky softness in the tagine recipe below, meaning you can add them to your favourite curries and vegetable stews and get great results. 

    When Kambrook gave me a Pressure Express pressure cooker to test-drive I was blown away by the incredible functionality. It does everything you need to create a great casserole or braise in one pot in less than an hour. It sautés, meaning you can do everything to get a rich caramelised flavour into your meal in the one pot - or dry fry your favourite curry spices – without transferring from one saucepan to another.

    Lamb Tagine Recipe

    This lamb tagine recipe easily fed six hungry people and makes an economical and mildly spiced mid-week meal your whole family will love. 

    Serves 6

    Prep Time: Overnight or 8 hours marinating/soaking plus 15-20 minutes

    Cooking time: 1 hour, including sauté function

    • 1 cup dried chickpeas OR 2 x 400g tins chickpeas
    • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
    • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
    • 2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1½ tbsp paprika
    • 1½ tbsp ground ginger
    • 1 tbsp turmeric
    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 x shoulder of lamb, boned, trimmed and cut into 5cm/2in chunks (about 1.2 kg in total)
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced or crushed
    • 600ml bottle passata
    • 8-10 dried apricots, cut in half
    • 8 dried figs, sliced thinly
    • 250 ml chicken stock or water
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • ¼ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
    • Pita or Lebanese bread, to serve
    • Green salad to serve

    Begin the night before OR early in the morning before you head to work: If using dried chickpeas, cover them with cold water and leave for 8 hours or overnight to expand.

    Place the sea salt flakes, chilli flakes, pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon in a large non-reactive bowl and stir it well to combine. Add the trimmed lamb chunks and toss the meat to thoroughly coat it in the spices. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and leave for 8 hours or overnight in the fridge so the lamb develops a wonderful flavour.

    Set the Kambrook Pressure Express™ to Sauté function and press Start. Add the oil and heat it up then add the onion and garlic. Sauté for five minutes until the onions are soft and starting to colour. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

    Add the marinated lamb and sauté, in two batches, for five to seven minutes until the meat starts to brown on all sides. Do not clean out the pot.

    Set the Kambrook Pressure Express™ to Soups/Curries. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas, browned lamb and onions, the passata, chopped apricots and figs, stock and honey to the pan and give it all a brief stir to combine. 

    Place the lid of the Pressure Express on and lock it into place, making sure the steam valve is locked in place and turned off. Press Start and allow the timer to count down to the end of the cooking period. The entire cycle should take approximately 40 minutes.

    When the cooking cycle ends, the pressure express will ‘beep’. Using oven mitts to protect your hands, turn the steam valve on and allow the pressure to release over the next couple of minutes. DO NOT attempt to open the lid until the steam has completely stopped. 

    Once the pressure has released you will be able to unlock the lid. Serve the tagine on a large platter with some coriander leaves scattered over the top, with fresh pita or Lebanese bread and a lovely green salad on the side and let everyone help themselves.

    b2ap3_thumbnail_image005.jpgRecipe created and shared by Sandra Reynolds

    Sandra Reynolds has written over 1000 nutritious budget-friendly recipes for her blog The $120 Food Challenge, surviving unemployment payments and Aldi checkout lines along the way and turned personal adversity into a thriving blog.

    Her first cookbook, The $120 Food Challenge is published by Penguin Viking and Sandra is now writing her second cookbook. She still shops at Aldi every week.


    • Brenda 22 April 2013

      sounds perfect for cooking dinner quickly when I get home from work

    • Cindy 22 April 2013

      As a vegetarian, I'm most drawn in by the possibility of cooking dried legumes quickly and effectively. As it is I struggle to kick my can habit!

    • Fiona Brooke 22 April 2013

      I can pressure cook and slow cook in the one utensil? How cool is this. Would love to try this recipe. Sounds fantastic.

    • Sharon Butler 22 April 2013

      Time is money - and working full time to make money, I need something to help me with my time! And as winter approaches, Maroccan Lamb Shanks will be the perfect tester for my new toy!

    • Ros L 22 April 2013

      My 5yr old son loves cooking but him helping me means making dinner takes a long, long time. He double checks my measurements and makes sure I cook things correctly.

    • Maureen 23 April 2013

      I've made lamb tagine often but never in a pressure cooker, what a great idea! This looks amazingly good.

    • jenny @ BAKE 01 May 2013

      This lamb tagine looks so good! and I love the idea of a digital pressure cooker I really need one!

    • I rarely use my pressure cooker but I think this recipe means it's gotta come down off the shelf pronto!

    • Kayleen Stevens 12 May 2013

      my mother inlaw cooks in one all the time and its so delish, i would love to try lamb chops in this baby as its my kids favorite meal, it would be so quick to cook :) thanks for the chance

    • Lauren Davidson 12 May 2013

      Yum yum yum.... And would love a pressure cooker to cook in...

    • Dianne Ramirez 12 May 2013

      $120 food challenge love your page and yes I would love to win one of the Kambrook Digital Pressure Cookers!! :) Being a working mum, I'm sure this would be used regularly to whip up some quick yummy healthy meals.

    • Amanda Casalanguida 12 May 2013

      Pressure Cooker would be my savior on Thursday afternoons... swimming lesson then soccer practice plus squishing in homework... it's my Hellday for getting dinner finished on time. Thank YOU!!!

    • Amanda Casalanguida 12 May 2013

      Forgot to say... Beef with Guinness Stew!

    • iamevilcupcake 12 May 2013

      I spend over 20 hours a week travelling to and from work, so something that would help me get nutricious meals on my plate with minimal fuss and even less time would be awesome!

    • Bun in the oven 12 May 2013

      I would love to have one appliance with so many functions. Working full time with a 5 year old and another on the way, a time saving, delicious and healthy way to cook would be a kitchen savior!

    • FlyByNight 12 May 2013

      Faster, cheaper, better? Sounds like you can choose all three - count me in!

    • Katie 12 May 2013

      Kambrook you have the capacity to make evening meals quick, healthy and delicious. Bye bye Jamie Oliver - hello pressure cooker coq au vin!

    • Krishna Ferguson 12 May 2013

      I would absolutely love a pressure cooker, my mum had one when I was growing up and it's one appliance that I don't have and really want , was hoping for one for Mother's Day, but missed out , but I did get other beautiful presents :)

    • Dizzy Miss Lizzy 12 May 2013

      A pressure cooker would save me from slow cooker delusions of grandeur. I want to be the Mum has it together in the morning but with a pressure cooker I could fake it!

    • Kathleen Ward 12 May 2013

      yet another time poor mum
      and one too many hungry tums
      the memories of slow cooked beef
      the red wine sauce beyond belief
      a treasured memory of a hissing pot
      but this new cooker has got the lot

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