- 225g sultanas
- 1 1/2 kg lamb shoulder, cut into large cubes
- 2 medium onions, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons Ras El Hanout*
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger (or 1 large piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- Salt and pepper
- A generous slice of butter (about 3cm thick)
- 3 tablespoons honey, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 50g blanched almonds
- Vegetable oil
* This Morrocan blend of spices contains at least 10 different flavourings including nutmeg, rosebuds, allspice, lavender and aniseed: look for it in ethnic stores or order online
- Cover the raisins with water and set aside to soak.
- Toss the lamb with the onions, garlic, cinnamon sticks, ginger, turmeric and saffron. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside for 20 minutes.
- In a heavy-bottomed casserole, melt the butter over a medium-high heat, add the lamb, mix well and cover. Continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add three cups of water, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook for two hours, or until the meat is tender. Add the raisins, honey and cinnamon, and enough water to cover the raisins. Simmer, covered, for another 20 to 30 minutes so that the raisins plump up and the sauce reduces.
- Meanwhile, fry the almonds over a medium heat in enough vegetable oil to just cover them. When they turn a pale golden colour, remove from the oil and drain well.
- Garnish the lamb with the fried almonds and serve with couscous.
Recipe by Aoife Carrigy