Moroccan baked lamb tagine with quinces figs and honey recipeIn this festive dish, a shoulder of lamb is marinated in chermoula — a delicious Moroccan herb and spice mix — and baked slowly. If you have difficulty sourcing quinces, you can use sharp green apples or pears instead.
- 1.5 kg shoulder of lamb on the bone
- 1 quantity of Chermoula
- 2 tablespoons ghee, or 1 tablespoon olive oil plus a knob of butter
- 2 red onions, cut into wedges
- 225 g ready-to-eat prunes, stoned
- 225 g ready-to-eat dried figs, or fresh figs, halved
- 40 g butter
- 2 fresh quinces, quartered and cored (keep soaked in water with a squeeze of lemon until ready to use)
- 2–3 tablespoons orange flower water
- 2 tablespoons dark, runny honey
- leaves from a small bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- leaves from a small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- Plain, Buttery Couscous or roasted potatoes, to serve.
- Cut small incisions in the shoulder of lamb with a sharp knife and rub the chermoula well into the meat. Cover and leave in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
- Heat the ghee in a tagine or heavy-based casserole, add the lamb and brown it all over. Transfer the meat to a plate. Stir the onions and any leftover chermoula into the ghee. Add the prunes and if using dried figs add them at this stage. Pour in 300 ml water and put the lamb back into the tagine. Cover with the lid and put the tagine in the oven for about 2 hours.
- Towards the end of the cooking time, melt the butter in a heavy-based pan, toss in the quinces and sauté until golden brown. Remove the tagine from the oven and place the golden quince around the meat (if using fresh figs, add them at this stage). Splash the orange flower water over the lamb and drizzle the honey over the meat and the fruit. Return the tagine to the oven for a further 25–30 minutes, until the meat and fruit are nicely browned and the lamb is so tender it almost falls off the bone.
- Sprinkle the chopped parsley and coriander over the top and serve immediately with Plain, Buttery Couscous or roasted potatoes.