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Moroccan Goat Shank Tagine with Chick Peas

By MacLean Fraser

 

I grew up in Taranaki and remember as a kid tagging along with Dad and his SKS tasked with reducing one of the local farmers’ goat population.

 

Goats can be prolific and (can be) easier to hunt than deer so we should really be eating more of them. When I was a youngster goat (smellies) were considered dog tucker and while I would never wish it on (almost) anyone to have to endure tucking into an old billy the younger ones and nannies can be really tasty especially when cooked properly.

 

I think the meat lends itself really well to dishes with lots of spice in them which is why you see so many people eating goat in curries, especially overseas.

 

Before coming back to NZ I was chef at a private island resort in the Maldives and I was lucky enough to have a Middle Eastern restaurant as one of several outlets under my eye and so this dish is inspired by one of my head chef dishes from that restaurant.

 

Feel free to replace the shanks in this recipe with any other cut such as whole or diced shoulder meat but if using the back legs or rack then you won’t need to cook it as long before it is tender.

 

Preserved lemons really make this dish and you can get them at a lot of supermarkets now but you can substitute with lemon zest if you must. If you don’t have a Dutch oven you can substitute with any other pot then just transfer to a baking dish and cover with tin foil before braising in the oven.

 

Makes 4 portions.

 

INGREDIENTS:

4-8 Goat Shanks (depending on the size and your hunger)

4 Tbs Cooking oil

2 Onions

4 Cloves garlic

2 Tsp Ground ginger

2 Tsp Ground cumin

2 Tsp Smoky paprika

2 Tsp Turmeric

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1 Tsp Chilli powder

1 Tsp Ground black pepper

1 Tsp Ground coriander

2 Pinch Ground cloves

2 Star anise

2 Cinnamon sticks

2 Pinches saffron

2 410g Cans of chopped tomatoes

1 410g Can chick peas - drained

800ml Chicken stock (fresh or made from powder)

1 Preserved lemon

4 Sprigs mint

4 Sprigs Coriander

Salt

 

METHOD:

In a medium to large sized pan fry the goat shanks in half the oil over a high heat until nicely browned on both sides. Slice the onions and crush the garlic and brown in a Dutch oven on the stove top set to a moderate heat. Add all the ground and whole spices and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

 

Add the preserved lemon, saffron, tomato, stock and goat shanks. Bring to the simmer then place the lid on and braise in the oven at 165C for 2-2.5hrs until the meat is tender and coming away from the bone.

 

Add the chick peas for the final 10 mins. Season to taste with salt but be careful as the preserved lemon is salty already so it shouldn’t need much seasoning.

 

TO SERVE:

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Serve the shanks on a bed of couscous and sprinkled with chopped mint and coriander.

 

Best served with a chilled bottle of Pilsner.

 

About MacLean

“I am a professional chef and amateur hunter. I have spent time hunting in most of the North Island ranges but do most of my hunting in the Tararua’s.

 

Working as a chef has sent me to several locations in the world and I have worked in New Zealand, Malaysia, Cook Islands and the Maldives.

 

I first started out hunting rabbits and possums with my old man when I was a kid before moving on to goats and deer as I grew older. As a chef I like to use the best produce available. Hunters when killing humanely and taking only what they need can end up cooking with not only the most ethically harvested meat but when dealt with properly, the best quality also.

 

I think it’s really important to know where your food comes from and how best not to waste it, and that’s why I think hunting and cooking marry so well together and that’s what I hope to promote and achieve through sharing the recipes and techniques we use to cook wild game professionally.”

 

 

 

MacLean Fraser,

Executive Chef,

Artisan Dining House,

Bolton Hotel,

Wellington

 

www.boltonhotel.co.nz/dining

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