Lamb is without doubt the classic meat when it comes to making tagines. It has enough flavour to cope with the spices and also sits well with the sweetness of whatever fruit you choose to use. Here we’ve used quinces, one of our absolute favourite fruits.
1 kg diced lamb
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp paprika
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of saffron threads
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) chicken stock
2 quinces, peeled, quartered and cored
2 tbsp honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 piece preserved lemon, soaked, pulp removed and rind thinly sliced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the lamb, spices, garlic, onion, cinnamon and saffron in a large heavy-based saucepan. Cover with stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 1–1 1/2 hours, or until the lamb is tender.
Place the quinces in a small saucepan, cover with water, add honey and cook over a medium heat for 45 minutes, until tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
Check the lamb to ensure that it is tender. Adjust seasoning. If needed, add some of the quince poaching liquid to adjust the consistency. Add the quinces to the lamb tagine, along with the preserved lemon. Heat through completely.
Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve with couscous.