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Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Lemon and Pomegranate Couscous

Serves 12–14 

This is one of those great dishes that are perfect for small dinner parties and big celebrations alike. It’s very straightforward to prepare and is so, so delicious!

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 4 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tsp grated ginger
  • 11/2 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3kg (7lb) shoulder of lamb, boned,
  • fat discarded and cut into 4cm (11/2in) cubes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2kg (41/2lb) ripe tomatoes or 4 x 400g tins tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 4–5 tbsp honey
  • Wedges of lime and a bowl of Greek yoghurt, to serve
  • For the couscous:
    • 1 large or 2 small pomegranate
    • 800g (13/4lb) couscous
    • 6 tbsp olive oil
    • Juice of 2 lemons
    • 1 litre (13/4 pints) boiling chicken stock or water
    • 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint or coriander

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas mark 3. Heat a large flameproof casserole or heavy saucepan; add the olive oil, garlic, onions, ginger and spices. Season with salt and pepper, stir and cook on a low heat with the lid on for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft.
  2. Add the lamb, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and honey. Stir it all together, bring to a simmer and place in the oven for 11/2 hours, until the lamb is tender and cooked. Remove the lid halfway through cooking to let the liquid reduce and thicken. Season to taste. If it is still a bit thin, put the dish or saucepan on the hob on a medium heat and without the lid. Stir occasionally and let the liquid thicken.
  3. Cut the pomegranate in half. Scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon and remove the white membrane.
  4. For the Couscous: Place the couscous in a bowl and mix in the olive oil and lemon juice. Pour in the boiling stock or water and season. Allow to sit in a warm place for 5–10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. To serve, stir in the chopped herbs and pomegranate seeds. Place the tagine on serving plates with couscous and a wedge of lime, and place a bowl of thick yoghurt in the middle of the table.