Match of the week
Lamb tagine with prunes and Châteauneuf-du-Pape
You might not immediately think of wine in the context of Moroccan food but in fact Morocco has been a significant wine producer since the days of the French protectorate. And they planted the same grape varieties - grenache, syrah and cinsault that thrive in the south of France.
So it’s no surprise really to find that a lamb tagine, which is quite a red wine-friendly dish anyway, would work with a rather glorious 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Château Mont-Redon, the only revelation being that it showed off the wine quite so well.
I adapted the recipe from Claudia Roden’s Arabesque, adding a teaspoon of honey which nicely offset the slight bitterness of the saffron and cinnamon without making the dish in any way cloying though, together with the prunes, it left a lingering touch of sweetness in the dish which married well with the generous opulence of the wine. The root vegetables I served with it - roast carrots and parsnips - worked well too.
You can buy it from Justerini and Brooks who sent me the sample and have just released the 2019 vintage en primeur.
A Côtes du Rhône - or even a Moroccan red if you could find one - would also be good wine pairings.
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