Autumn Mutton and lamb have superb flavour, and hold up well with the spice and fruit of the tagine.  We have a load of quince in the shop at the moment, thanks to a glut from a customer’s tree.  They are odd shaped and beautifully scented, and this is an excellent use for them.  Depending on numbers, you could have a whole shoulder on the bone, but this uses diced shoulder.

Serves 6-8
1.8kg boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed & diced into 4cm cubes
Extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, diced
4 quince, peeled, seeded and quartered
1 head garlic, unpeeled and halved across its equator
A thumb of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
1 tsp ground ginger
3 bay leaves
A large pinch of saffron threads
½ cinnamon stick
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp chilli flakes
400g chopped tomatoes with their juices


1 Salt the lamb at least an hour before cooking, preferably overnight. Bring to room temperature.

2 Set a Dutch oven or heavy based pot over a medium-high heat and coat the bottom in oil. Brown the lamb in small batches on all sides, then transfer to a bowl. Pour out the fat and return to the heat, deglaze the pan with water and add to the lamb.

3 Return the pot to a medium heat and and fry the onion, quince, garlic, herbs and spices in oil until the onions are brown and soft.

4 Add the tomatoes to the quince mix and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the lamb and its liquid. Add enough stock or water to come about ⅓ of the way up the sides of the meat, then add about 300ml more. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the tagine partially with a lid. Stirring occasionally, continue simmering the meat until tender – about 2 hours.

5 Season to taste, removing any fat from the surface. Serve with steamed couscous and herbed yoghurt.

2 Responses

  • This recipe was absolutely DELICIOUS.. loved the concept of just coming in to buy the meat with the spices all ready to go – this was a super-simple Sunday casserole and we loved it – thank you Stansted team – great idea!

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