I’m not generally a fan of meat and fruit together in a meal but there’s something about fruit in a tagine that just works. Leave it out and it doesn’t have the same satisfying flavour. I’ve opted to include finely chopped fruit in my tagine so that I get the flavour but with the long, slow cooking the fruit almost disappears into the sauce.
I serve this with herby couscous – using parsley and mint as I do in the tagine. You could also add toasted almonds and roasted vegetables to the couscous.
This is a very easy recipe. All the hard work is done by the stove or slow cooker whilst you get on with whatever you need to do.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 3 – 4 hours
2 tbsp olive oil
500g lamb shoulder, cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 can/carton chopped tomatoes
400 ml beef stock
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp saffron strands
1/2 preserved lemon (or 2 of the very small ones), skin only, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped dates
a handful of parsley, finely chopped, stalks separated from the leaves
a handful of mint, finely chopped
410g can chickpeas, drained
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil over a high heat in a lidded saute or casserole pan. Add the meat to the pan and brown all over.
- Turn down the heat and gently cook the onions until soft and translucent. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring all the time, until the garlic fumes dissipate. Don’t let the garlic go brown.
- Stir in the ground spices before adding the tomatoes, stock, honey, saffron, preserved lemon, dates, parsley stalks, half the mint, chickpeas and seasoning.
- Stir well and bring to the boil before turning the heat right down. Cook very slowly with the lid on for a few hours until the meat is tender. You could also cook this in a slow cooker.
- Stir through the parsley leaves and remaining mint. Check the seasoning and serve with couscous.