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Tagine of lamb with quince

Quinces were popular with the Moors for their perfume and are still abundant in Morocco today (as well as my garden in Suffolk).  In medieval times, to give a quince to a lady was a declaration of love.

Tagine of lamb with quince

750g (1 1/2lb) lean lamb cut into large chunks
2 onions, finely chopped
60g (2 1/2oz) butter
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp saffron strands
1 cinnamon stick
600ml (1pt) vegetable stock or water
Sea salt
2 large quinces
2 tsp runny honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  1. Place the lamb, onion, butter, ginger, pepper, saffron and stick of cinnamon either in a tagine on the hob (if your tagine is suitable) or in a heavy based pan and fry gently in the butter for about 10 minutes, until the spices give off their aroma.
  2. Add the water and bring to a simmer.  Transfer to a tagine, or transfer your tagine to the oven, for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender, topping up the water if necessary.
  3. Cut the quince into 8 pieces and remove the core but don't peel.  Place the quinces in the tagine and stir in the honey and ground cinnamon, add water if necessary: the quinces should be just covered.  Continue to simmer for 30 minutes until the quinces are quite tender.  Add salt to taste
  4. Serve with warm bread.

Serves 4

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