Lamb and Quince Tagine

I love this dish – its not an everyday thing really, it’s a treat as there are a few steps to it, but its worth it! I learnt this recipe from Aisha, my husbands mum who comes from Goulmima and is needless to say a brilliant Moroccan cook, mainly because food is the main pleasure in life here, cook well and you’ll never be hungry or lonely!

What you’ll need: – for the lamb Tagine
2 medium red onions
Half a kilo of lamb leg cuts
4 cloves of garlic
A fingernail of fresh ginger
2 tsps of Turmeric
Half a tsp of Black Pepper
2 tsps of Salt
A pinch of saffron
4 desert spoons of olive oil

What you’ll need: – for the quince
Half a kilo of quince
4 desert spoons of sugar (or honey if you prefer)
1 desert spoon of cinnamon

The Quince
Peel and cut the quince into quarters then put into a pan of water to start cooking
Wait until they start to soften (test with a knife) then add the sugar
Continue cooking to allow the quince to absorb the sugar
After about 30 minutes add cinnamon and turn up the heat slightly to start to reduce the water into a sauce

The Tagine
Chop the red onions into tiny squares and fry in olive oil until transparent
Add the lamb and your garlic and spices (except for the saffron)
When the spices are melded, add about a half a pint of water and leave to cook in a pressure cooker for about 30 minutes (while the quince are also cooking)
After a while add about another pint and a half of water to the pot
When the water and spices have melded again, check the lamb is cooked and strain and retain the sauce, keep the strained bits from the sauce to one side.
Put the strained sauce in a saucepan and the lamb in a Tagine.
Add a pinch of saffron for colour to the sauce and reduce it down so its less watery and a lovely brown colour
When ready (about 5 – 8 minutes) pour the sauce over the lamb in the Tagine
Arrange the caramalised quince over the top in a circle.