Tasty Tuesdays: Tunisian Koucha

This is one of the easiest Tunisian dishes to make. At least, it is the way I make it; it's one of Hubby Dearest's favorite meals and since he's never complained, it must be good. Especially when you consider he was once head chef in a leading hotel...

(Please note; there is no image of this dish yet as I haven't cooked this for a little while. I'll post an image as soon as I can get one!)

Koucha is traditionally baby lamb slow baked in a stoneware oven with rosemary and other herbs. But don't worry: in this recipe we wont be attempting anything nearly so complicated! My version of Koucha is made with small pieces of lamb shoulder, potatoes, onions and a tomato sauce instead, baked in the oven until all the flavours blend; the meat is cooked and it tastes delicious. Want to know how it can be made quickly and easily? Read on...

Here's what you'll need to make enough for four people:
  • Four pieces of lamb shoulder (enough for a portion). Ask your butcher to chop a shoulder for you if you can't find it already portioned.
  • A clove or two of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • One can of tinned tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • 2 Large or four small potatoes
  • 2 Medium onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • A handful of fresh rosemary (or about 1 heaped teaspoon of dried rosemary)
  • Four small earthenware dishes (or small oven proof casserole dishes)

And here's how to make it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  2. Rub the lamb portions with a clove of garlic. Place in the dishes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on chopped rosemary, salt and black pepper, and a little chili powder (depending on your taste).
  3. Peel the potatoes and halve; rinse then add a portion to each dish. Peel the onions, halve and add half an onion to each portion.
  4. Add a tablespoon of tomato puree and a heaped tablespoon of chopped tomatoes, plus a little of the juice. Cover with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for about an hour, until the lamb is cooked and the potatoes are soft.
  5. Before serving, give the dishes a little shake to help blend the tomatoey sauce, and turn out onto plates. Garnish with chopped spring onions and fresh parsley if desired, and serve with crusty bread (this dish is traditionally eaten with bread instead of knives and forks!)
  6. Enjoy!

I hope you like this recipe too! This will be the last Tunisian recipe (for now), but I will continue this feature of easy meal ideas every Tuesday.

For more Tunisian recipes, try these earlier posts:

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