Moroccan lamb tagine with chestnuts, saffron and pomegranate seeds recipe
This is a lovely winter dish, decorated with jewel-like ruby-red pomegranate seeds. Whole, meaty chestnuts are often used in Arab-influenced culinary cultures as a substitute for potatoes. You can use freshly roasted nuts or ready-peeled, vacuum-packed or frozen chestnuts.
- 2 tablespoons ghee, or 1 tablespoon olive oil plus a knob of butter
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped or shredded
- A pinch of saffron threads
- 1–2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 kg lean lamb, from the shoulder or leg, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 250 g peeled chestnuts
- 1–2 tablespoons dark, runny honey
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate, pith removed
- Leaves from a small bunch of fresh mint, chopped
- Leaves from a small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Crusty bread or Plain, Buttery Couscous, to serve
- Heat the ghee in a tagine or heavy-based casserole. Stir in the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until they begin to color. Add the saffron and cinnamon sticks, and toss in the lamb. Pour in enough water to almost cover the meat and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer gently for about 1 hour.
- Add the chestnuts and stir in the honey. Cover with the lid again and cook gently for a further 30 minutes, until the meat is very tender.
- Season to taste with salt and plenty of black pepper and then toss in some of the pomegranate seeds, mint, and coriander. Sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds and herbs over the lamb, and serve with crusty bread or Plain, Buttery Couscous.