A rich tagine made with tender lamb shanks and poached and sautéed quince.
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
- 100g unsalted butter
- 4 lamb shanks
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 large onions, roughly chopped
- 400ml stock or water
- 4 tbsp runny honey
- 1 large bunch fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
- 1 quince
- 2 strips lemon rind
- juice of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp saffron threads, soaked in 2 tbsp boiling water
- Grind the cumin and coriander together. Heat three quarters of the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed casserole and brown the lamb lightly on all sides. Add the ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic and onions and cook for a further couple of minutes, stirring the onions.
- Season and pour on the stock or water. Add half the honey and about a third of the coriander leaves. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over a low heat for one and a half hours (larger shanks might take longer). The lamb should be meltingly tender.
- While the lamb cooks rub the grey down off the quince, then peel, quarter and core it. Place in a small pan and add just enough water to cover. Add the lemon rind and juice and the rest of the honey. Bring to the boil, then immediately turn down the heat and poach the quince until tender.
- When the lamb is cooked remove the shanks and keep them warm. Add about 4 tbsp of the quince poaching liquid and the saffron to the lamb cooking juices and boil to reduce until you have a thickish sauce. Taste and season.
- Slice the quince and heat the remaining butter in a small frying-pan. Sauté the slices on both sides until golden. Return the lamb back to the casserole and heat through. Gently stir in the rest of the coriander and add the sliced quince. Serve immediately with bread or, as I like it, couscous.