Fruity Lamb and Olive Tagine

The secret to this sweet, spicy, melt-in-the-mouth fruity lamb tagine is time: after a few minutes prep, you can leave the oven to do the rest of the work while you get on with other things. Like this recipe? It freezes well, so it’s perfect for a batch-cooking session.


Glug of oil for frying
2 red onions, chopped
3 fat garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp ground turmeric
2 preserved lemons, halved, pith discarded and finely sliced
1.2kg diced lamb leg or shoulder
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
100g dried apricots
100g pitted prunes
280g jar green olives, pitted or left whole
500ml lamb or chicken stock
2 tbsp honey
Handful fresh coriander leaves
Handful fresh mint leaves
150g pomegranate seeds
Handful pistachios, roughly chopped (optional)
Couscous or flatbreads to serve (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a deep hob-safe casserole over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for 4-5 minutes until beginning to colour. Add the garlic, all the ground spices and the preserved lemons, then fry for 2 minutes more, stirring.
  2. Heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Season the lamb, then add it to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the chopped tomatoes, apricots, prunes, olives, stock and honey, then bring to a fast simmer. Add 150ml water, then cover and put in the oven for 3½ hours.
  3. Check the lamb is fall-apart tender, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Scatter with the herbs, some pomegranate seeds (serve the rest on the side) and, if using, pistachios. Enjoy with couscous or flatbreads, if you like.

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