I made some lime pickle recently and, in doing so, I deliberately made too many preserved limes so that I'd have some to use in other recipes. I got carried away with the idea of limes in this recipe and added dried and fresh limes into the mix as well. Let's face it, I really like limes. If you've not tried using preserved or dried limes then I promise all three of the types of lime used here really do taste very different from one another.
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cm fresh ginger, grated
250 g lamb neck fillet, trimmed of excess fat and cut into roughly 3 cm pieces
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
1 small dried lime, pierced several times with a knife
300 g new potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
125 g carrots, peeled (if necessary) and cut into small chunks
Small handful of green beans, cut in half
Peel from about ½ a preserved lime, salt wiped off and finely sliced
2 tsp fresh lime juice
½ – 1 tbsp runny honey
In a pan that will be large enough to hold all the ingredients, fry the onion gently in a little oil for a few minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another minute or so. Add the meat, cumin and paprika. Fry gently for two or three minutes more. Add enough hot water to cover the meat (but only just cover it), tuck in the dried lime and grind some black pepper over the pan. (Don't add salt at this point since the preserved lime will be salty when it's added towards the end). Cover the pan and simmer gently for 1½ hours, stirring every so often, by which time the lamb should be very tender.
Add the potatoes, carrots and beans – there should be plenty of liquid left at this stage, but add some more water if necessary. Simmer uncovered for 18 – 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and the sauce has reduced. Add the preserved lime, the lime juice and ½ tbsp of honey. Go on cooking very gently for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Adjust the seasoning and add the other ½ tbsp of honey if the mixture is still too sour.
Serve either with couscous or, better still I think, simply with whatever flat bread takes your fancy.