Braised Spiced Spring Lamb with Couscous and Raita

Merrilees Parker's wonderfully spicy tender lamb is accompanied by refreshing mint chutney and couscous spiked with harissa
By Merrilees Parker
Braised Spiced Spring Lamb with Couscous and Raita
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 bunches coriander, leaves and stems separated
  • 1 small bunch wild garlic, leaves and stems separated
  • 2.5 cm piece ginger, chopped
  • 3 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1.5 kg lamb shoulder, well trimmed and cut into 4cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 600 ml tomato juice
  • 600 ml lamb or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp clear honey

For the mint and garlic chutney

  • 2 tbsp mint, chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the couscous

  • 350 g couscous
  • 600 ml boiling water
  • 2 tbsp harissa


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3.

2. Put the coriander stems, wild garlic stems, ginger and onions into a food processor and pulse until well puréed.

3. Heat half the oil in a large heavy-based flame-proof casserole dish. Add the lamb in batches and cook over a medium heat until browned.

4. Add the remaining oil to the pan and then add the onion mixture. Cook for a few minutes, until softened but not coloured.

5. Stir in the paprika, ground coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper. Cook for 1 minute until the mixture begins to colour and release its aroma.

6. Pour the tomato juice and stock into the pan, followed by the honey, stirring to combine. Bring to the boil, but don't cover the pan.

7. Cook in the oven for 2 hours, until the lamb is completely cooked and tender and the sauce has thickened and reduced. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8. To make the mint and wild garlic dressing; blend the mint and wild garlic leaves with olive oil in a food processor or mini blender and season generously with salt and pepper.

9. To make the couscous; place the couscous in a large bowl and pour over the boiling water. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir well.

10. Leave in a warm place for 6-8 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and fold in the dressing. Just before serving, stir in the harissa paste.

11. Scatter the coriander leaves over the lamb and serve with the couscous and mint and wild garlic dressing.

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