Lamb and Apricot Tagine

A tagine is officially a conical shaped clay pot that is placed on top of a gas fire or put in the oven. The word also refers to the stew cooked within it.

Method

1) In a large bowl, mix together the oil, saffron, turmeric, pepper, ginger, cayenne and sliced onion until well blended. Add the meat and toss to coat.
2) Heat a large casserole or saucepan over moderately high heat until hot then add the meat and sear on all sides.
3) Add enough water to just cover the meat, bring to boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour 45 minutes or until the meat is very tender.
4) Add the apricots, mix well then raise the heat a little and cook, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced to about 200ml (about a cupful).
5) Meanwhile, place the squash, 100ml water, honey, orange or rose blossom water and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
6) Reduce the squash cooking liquid by boiling rapidly until syrupy.
7) Add the squash mixture to the meat mixture, mixing well, then simmer for a final further 5 minutes.
8) Place the cous cous in a large bowl, pour over vegetable stock, stir in the lemon zest, fresh herbs and season well. Cover with cling film and leave until the stock is absorbed. Fluff up with a fork just before serving and stir in the pomegranates seeds.

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