Lamb Tagine/ Squash Tagine

Serves 4

  • 750g boned lamb shoulder trimmed of excess fat and skin (a large half shoulder), or you could use 4 x small lamb shanks
  • 1 Squash (V)
  • 3 tsps cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 2 tsps freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 
  • Zest and juice of one lime 
  • 120g prunes, stones and soaked
  • 400g tin of tomatoes 
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Handful of mint, chopped

For couscous

  • 500 ml high-quality stock
  • 275g couscous
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • Handful of mint or coriander
  • Handful of parsley
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon or lime 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ gas mark 4

Trim and prepare the lamb and cut it into large chunks (or get your butcher to do this for you). If using shanks, leave them whole. 

Fry the cumin and coriander seeds in a non-stick pan until they begin to pop, and grind to a powder. I use an electric coffee grinder for this, but you can use a pestle and mortar. 

In a heavy-bottomed ovenproof casserole dish hear the oil and cook the onions for a few minutes over a low heat. Lift them out onto a plate and brown the pieces of lamb (or shanks) quickly over a high heat.

Reduce the heat and add the ground cumin and coriander seeds and the cinnamon. Mix in the ginger and turmeric, stirring to combine the flavours. Return the onions to the pan and cook gently for 2-3 minutes.

Add the garlic, paprika, lime zest and juices, prunes, and tomatoes, cover and cook in the preheated oven for 2 hours. Season carefully with salt and pepper. 

Eat there and then, or allow to cool completely and gently reheat when required. When you are about to eat, stir in the chopped coriander and mint. 

To make the couscous, bring the stock to the boil, put the couscous into a deep bowl, pour over the stock, stir, cover, and then leave for 5-10 minutes to allow the grains to soften. Season well with salt and pepper, and add the chopped herbs and lemon or lime zest and juice. 

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