Lamb and tomato tagine

Slow-cooked spiced lamb simmered in spiced tomato sauce is a superb main course from James Martin
By James Martin
Lamb and tomato tagine
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 x 1kg 250 g lamb shoulder, knuckle removed
  • 1 bulbs garlic, peeled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 450 g onions, grated
  • 175 g dried apricots, soaked in water to cover
  • 75 g blanched flaked almonds
  • 50 g sultanas or raisins
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 500 ml tomato juice
  • 700 g tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 500 ml lamb stock

For the lemon and coriander garnish

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pickled lemon, chopped
  • 1 tsp strands saffron
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander


1. Combine the ginger, pepper and cinnamon and rub all over the lamb. Leave in the fridge to marinate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 2.

3. Shred three of the garlic cloves. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make small indentations all over the lamb and push in slivers of garlic. Finely chop the remaining garlic.

4. Heat the olive oil in a heavy casserole pan set over a high heat. Quickly brown the lamb all over - it should take about 10 minutes.

5. Add the remaining garlic and onion to the same pan; turn down the heat and soften the onions, without letting them brown.

6. Add the apricots along with their soaking water.

7. Stir in the almonds, raisins, sultanas, honey, tomato juice, tomatoes and lamb stock. Bring to the boil, place in the oven and cook for 3 hours.

8. For the lemon and coriander garnish, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the lemon rind, saffron, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper and chopped coriander. Fry gently for 1-2 minutes.

9. Remove the lamb from the oven and serve with the lemon and coriander garnish on the side. This dish goes particularly well with jewelled couscous.

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