In Morocco, spiced lamb tagines are a staple dish. They are quick to make but slow to cook. This recipe from James Martin uses a classic combination of spices for tagines which give a stunning depth of flavour.
James uses the North African spice ras el hanout in his lamb tagine. Translated as “the head of the shop”, it means the best spices the shopkeeper has to offer. Each shop and family has their own blend of spices which makes for an infinite variety of flavours.
Some Moroccan blends of ras el hanout historically had crushed green metallic beetles, known as Spanish Fly, added as an aphrodisiac. Banned in 1990, I don’t think they would have passed quality control in the Schwartz factory.
Tagines get their name from the earthenware pot in which they make them.
A simple salad of very finely chopped vegetables tossed with lots of fresh parsley and bulgur wheat, lime juice and olive oil. In the Arab world, tabbouleh is served as part of a mezze.
We use pomegranate seeds instead of chopped tomato and adds an assortment of nuts for some added crunch, delicious!
You can find a simple recipe for a basic tabbouleh here.
I agree with James that a good British lamb shoulder joint gives the best results. Often imported lamb is frozen for transport and defrosted before going on the butchers counter.
Do you like slow roasted meat? Try the Pulled Pork.
Slow Roasted Spiced Lamb Tagine with Tabbouleh
To spice the lamb
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ras el hanout
- 1 tsp saffron strands
- 2 kg lamb shoulder
For the sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 5 cm ginger coarsely grated
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
- 1 red chilli chopped
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 4 tbsp honey
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 800 g tins chopped tomatoes
- 3 fresh tomatoes chopped
- 150 g dried fruits I’ve used apricots and sultanas, chopped
- 4 medium preserved lemons chopped
- To serve: 1 small bunch mint coriander and parsley, chopped
For the tabbouleh
- 50 g shelled pistachios chopped
- 50 g flaked almonds
- 50 g pine nuts
- 50 g dried apricots chopped
- 100 g pomegranate seeds
- 4 lemon juice
- 100 ml olive oil
- 200 g bulgur wheat cooked as per pack instructions and allow to cool
- 1 large bunch mint parsley and coriander, chopped
- To make the marinade, mix the oil and the spices together in a bowl and then coat all over the lamb. Place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- For the sauce, heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onion, the ginger, the garlic, the chilli and cinnamon, then add the honey and chicken stock and the chopped and fresh tomatoes followed by the dried fruits and preserved lemons. Bring to the boil then pour the sauce over the lamb.
- Place the lamb in the oven and cook for 1 hour
- Remove from the oven and cover the lamb in foil and cook for another 2-3 hours
- Finish with the fresh chopped herbs, and season
- To make the tabbouleh, take all of the remaining ingredients and add to the bulgur wheat. Stir through the chopped herbs and serve with the lamb.
- James Martin
- BBC Good Food
- Mary Berry