3 tablespoons oil
2 onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
a good pinch saffron
3cm piece ginger, peeled, grated
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cinnamon quills
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-2 tablespoons harissa (depending on how spicy you want it), plus extra to serve
½ cup dried apricots or prunes, sliced (I used Bridge Hill’s excellent tart apricots)
2 medium kūmara (approx 600g), peeled, cut into 3cm chunks
2 parsnips, cut into pieces
½ preserved lemon, sliced
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
500g diced venison (ideally a shoulder cut; I used Silver Fern Farms)
500ml chicken stock
500ml vegetable stock
1-2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup (optional)
freekeh, rice or couscous
chopped coriander leaves
70g slivered almonds, toasted
Greek-style yoghurt

Moroccan-inspired tagines are pretty much my idea of a perfect meal. I vary both the meat and vegetables to what is in season and available. A slow-cooking lamb or beef cut would be excellent to replace the venison – just adjust the cooking time accordingly. In summer I use eggplant, zucchini and capsicums rather than the root vegetables.

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1.Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan, add the onion, and cook until soft.
2.Add the garlic and spices and cook for a few minutes until fragrant.
3.Divide into two.
5.Heat the remaining oil in another pan and brown the venison.
6.Add half the onion mix and fry for 1-2 minutes along with half the tomato paste and half the harissa.
7.Add the chicken stock, half the dried fruit, half the kūmara, half the parsnip, half the preserved lemon and ½ can chickpeas.
8.Season generously with salt, then cover and simmer on a very low heat on the stovetop (or in a 160°C oven) for 80-90 minutes or until tender.
10.Put the remaining onion mix in a pan with the remaining tomato paste and harissa and fry for 1-2 minutes.
11.Add the vegetable stock, the remaining dried fruit, kūmara, parsnip, preserved lemon and 1½ cans chickpeas.
12.Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until tender.
13.If you feel it needs a little sweetness, add the honey or maple syrup.
14.Serve both versions with freekeh, rice or couscous. Garnish with chopped coriander and toasted almonds. Serve with yoghurt and extra harissa alongside.
16.Serve the chickpea tagine with coconut yoghurt and use maple syrup in place of the honey.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Jessica Hemmings

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