This dish is a great favourite in our house, loved by young and old. It’s well worth the effort. I am constantly being asked for the recipe so here it is. The tagine is best made the day before, allowing the wonderful, warming aromatic flavours to develop. This is a wonderful dish to feed a crowd; I often serve it in bowls; hot tagine poured over couscous at room temperature, lots of coriander, with a sprinkle of crunchy toasted almonds, and the surprise of pomegranate seeds – stunning to both the eye and the palate
- 650g boneless shoulder of lamb
- Olive oil for frying
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 pinch chilli flakes
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Ground salt and pepper
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- ½ tablespoon plain flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 75ml dry sherry
- 250ml chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 75g stoned dates
- A drizzle of honey
- 1 large bunch fresh coriander, to garnish
- 1 tablespoon toasted flaked almonds
- 1 pomegranate, seeds only
- Cut the lamb into 4cm cubes. Marinate the lamb with the spices and some olive oil for a few hours or overnight is best.
- Preheat oven to 160ºC/gas mark 2.5
- Heat one tablespoon oil in a heavy-based non-stick frying pan and brown the lamb in batches, using more oil if necessary.
- Heat a little oil in a heavy-based casserole and add the garlic and onions and stir over the heat for five minutes.
- Add the browned lamb to the casserole. Stir in flour and tomato purée, cook for a minute or so then add sherry, stock, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Season with salt and pepper. Bring back to the boil, cover and cook in the preheated oven for 1W hours, stirring occasionally.
- Discard cinnamon. Add dates and return to oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Check seasoning, add honey and stir in half the coriander. When ready to serve, garnish with the rest of the coriander, toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds and serve with room temperature couscous with mint, coriander and thyme.
Tip: This dish can be frozen so make double the amount for next time.