Lamb tagine with pomegranate and pine nut cous cous recipe image

Print Lamb tagine with pomegranate and pine nut cous cous

This lovely way of cooking lamb requires little attention once it's in the oven. The best way of getting pomegranate seeds out of the fruit: cut it in half widthways, turn the half upside down and bash with a rolling pin to release the seeds. If it's not ripe enough for this to work, rip open the fruit further so the seeds can be scraped out with a teaspoon or your finger. Pick out any bits of membrane as they tend to taste bitter.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1kg lamb, diced
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 600ml water
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 150g dried apricots, roughly chopped, soaked in water for 30 mins, then drained
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 400g couscous
  • 500ml hot veg stock
  • Knob of butter
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • Seeds from 2 pomegranates
  • 100g pine nuts, toasted in a dry frying pan until just golden (or use flaked almonds)
  • 1 bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped, & extra to serve
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. In a large flame and oven-proof casserole or tagine, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the lamb and fry (in batches if necessary) until browned all over. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil and fry the onion until just starting to turn translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cardamom and fry for another minute or two. Return the lamb to the pan, add the saffron, water, lemon rind and season.
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer on the lowest heat, or cook in the oven at 150˚C/Gas 2 for 1½ hours. Add the apricots and honey and cook for another 30 minutes and check the seasoning.
  4. To make the couscous, put it in a large bowl, add the hot stock and butter and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes, using a fork to fluff every few minutes. The stock should all be absorbed.
  5. When cool, add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the tagine on top of the couscous, with an extra sprinkling of chopped coriander.
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