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Lamb tagine with honeyed prunes

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This tagine is a true comfort food tagine


1kg (2lb) shoulder of lamb, in 4cm (1 1/2 ") cubes
2 spanish onions, coarsely grated
3 plump garlic gloves, crushed
4 tablespoons of olive oil
large pinch of dried chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pinch of crushed saffron threads
2 x 400gm (13oz) cans of tomatoes
1 strip orange rind
2 cinnamon sticks
bunch of coriander, chopped
24 large ready-to-eat prunes
3-4 tablespoons clear honey
75gm (3oz) toasted blanched whole almonds
mint leaves to garnish


1. Put the lamb into a bowl.  Add the onions, garlic, oil, chilli flakes, ginger, cumin, paprika, saffron and plenty of black pepper.  Stir to coat the meat well.  Cover and leave to marinade in a cool place for at least 2 hours, or in the refrigerator overnight.

2. Heat a large, heavy frying pan.  Add the lamb in batches and brown evenly.  Transfer to a tagine or heavy casserole.  Put the marinade into the frying pan and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes then stir in the lamb.  Add the tomatoes, orange rind, cinnamon and half of the coriander.  Mix well then cover and cook in a preheated oven, 160C (323F), gas mark 3, for 1 1/4 hours.

3. Meanwhile, put the prunes into a saucepan with the honey and just enough water to cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Add the prunes and the cooking juices to the tagine and cook for 15 minutes, adding the remaining coriander after about 7 minutes.

5. Scatter almonds over the tagine, garnish with mint leaves and serve with couscous.

Serves 6

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