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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Cut the pomegranate in half. Scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon and remove the white membrane.
- 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.
- 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.