Lamb and quince tagine

Traditionally the meat for tagines is not browned (Moroccans would no doubt frown on this) but I think it gives the dish a better flavour and appearance.

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 90 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes 60 minutes 55 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

½ tsp Cumin seeds
½ tsp Coriander seeds
100g Unsalted butter
4 Lamb shanks
1 tsp Ground ginger
½ tsp Cayenne pepper
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 Large onions, roughly chopped
400ml Lamb stock
½ Cinnamon stick
4 tbsp Clear honey
20g Fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
1 Quince, peeled, quartered and cored
1 Lemon, juice and 2 strips of rind
½ tsp Saffron, dissolved in 2 tbsp boiling water

Method

  1. Grind the cumin and coriander together. Heat 75g butter in a large casserole and brown the lamb on all sides. Remove the meat and set aside. Add all the spices (except the saffron), and the garlic and onions; cook for 2 minutes. Season and add the stock. Add 2 tbsp honey and about a third of the coriander. Bring to the boil, return the lamb to the casserole, then turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook over a low heat for 1½ hours until meltingly tender.
  2. Meanwhile, put the quince in a small saucepan and cover with water. Add the lemon rind, juice and the remaining honey. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15–20 minutes until tender.
  3. When the lamb is cooked, remove the shanks and cinnamon stick and keep warm. Add about 4 tbsp of the quince poaching liquid, the saffron and its water. Bring to the boil and reduce to a thickish sauce. Taste and season.
  4. Slice the quince and heat the remaining butter in a frying pan. Sauté the quince slices until golden. Return the lamb to the casserole and heat everything through. Gently stir in the remaining coriander and add the quince. Serve immediately with couscous or bread.