Tagine of lamb & merguez sausages
- Preparation and cooking time
- Prep 35 mins plus marinating
- More effort
- Serves 8
A famous Moroccan casserole named after the clay dish it's cooked in and containing strong, fragrant flavours
For the chermoula marinade
- 1 tbsp each ground cumin, paprika and turmeric
- 1 tsp hot chilli powder
- 2 large red onions , roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- thumb-sized piece ginger , roughly chopped
- 200ml/ 7fl oz olive oil
- 200ml/ 7fl oz lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- 1 tbsp honey
- large handful flat-leaf parsley , roughly chopped
- large handful coriander , roughly chopped
For the tagine
- 6 lamb shanks or a 1kg/2lb 4oz piece lamb or mutton shoulder (if using shoulder ask the butcher to cut it into 10cm chunks on the bone)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots , sliced
- 2 red onions , sliced
- 12 dried prunes
- 1 tbsp honey
- juice ½ lemon
- 8 merguez sausages (optional)
- 2 preserved lemons , homemade (see recipe below) or bought, pulp scooped out, rinsed and finely sliced
- 2 mint sprigs, to serve
- harissa , to serve (see recipe below)
- STEP 1
For the marinade, roast the spices in a dry pan for a couple mins until fragrant. Put remaining marinade ingredients in a blender and process to a smooth paste, then add the roast spices and blend again to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and pour over the marinade. Leave in the paste overnight, or for at least 2 hrs to absorb all the flavours.
- STEP 2
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. In a large roasting tin, big enough to fit the meat in one single layer, heat the oil and place over a high heat on the hob. Remove the meat from the marinade, wiping off and reserving any excess, then brown shanks on all sides in the hot oil.
- STEP 3
Add remaining marinade to the dish along with the carrots, onions and prunes, then pour in 1 litre water. Cover the dish tightly with foil and cook in a low oven for 3½-4 hrs until the meat is tender and falling away from the bone. Add the honey, lemon juice and seasoning and keep warm.
- STEP 4
If using, fry the sausages until cooked through, then add to the tagine. Serve the meat in a large bowl with the sauce spooned over, then scatter with the preserved lemons and mint, and serve the harissa on the side.
Merguez are thin, harissa-flavoured lamb sausages. If the idea of eating sausages as well as lamb is too much, just cook the shanks, then this dish will serve 6.