Lamb season is here. I love the sweet fruit notes to go with this meat and the crunch from the almonds. Perfect with bulgur or couscous (whole wheat for added health benefits). Very easy to make and guaranteed to make the whole house smell lovely!
1kg lamb shoulder, well trimmed and cut into 4cm (1½in) chunks
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2cm piece of fresh root ginger, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
450ml (¾ pint) chicken stock
2 tbsp clear honey
200g almonds (blanched)
1 tbsp ras el hanout
½ tsp saffron threads
2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sea salt to taste
For the Couscous:
350g (12oz) couscous
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
600ml (1 pint) chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat up a large saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil. Mix together the ras al hanout, ginger, a couple of threads of saffron and pepper with three or four spoons of water. Coat the lamb chunks and brown the lamb as you go. Add the butter, almonds, onions and garlic. Add the chicken stock and enough water to cover the meat. Place a lid on it and simmer for 2 hours. Top up with a little bit of water if necessary.
Meanwhile, chop the dried fruits and soak them with the remaining saffron threads and water. When the meat is nearly cooked, remove the lid and stir in the honey, the fruits and the cinnamon. Remove from the heat once the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. Place in a round dish.
To make the couscous, place it in a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of oil and all the lemon juice. Mix well, ensuring that all the grains are completely coated.
Heat the stock in a small pan and season generously. Pour the stock over the couscous and allow it to sit in a warm place for 6-8 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add 20g of butter and fluff it up with a fork. Spoon into a warmed serving dish.
Recipe & photos by @clairemariecuisine