It is summer but our oven has been working more than it should be. And in fact, more than the winter months. I’m not a huge fan of salads or cold noodles, I prefer my meals hot – stews and braises..YUM. Standing over the stove cooking in the kitchen without a fan now is unbearable so I resort to oven-cooked meals instead. You chuck everything into a baking dish and enjoy comforting hot food after an hour or two. This dish is rich and flavourful, spicy, tangy and I added dates for a bit of sweetness.
Adapted from Angela Boggiano’s recipe at deliciousmagazine.co.uk
- 1kg Lamb Joint Half Shoulder
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbs fennel seeds
- 1 large onion – sliced
- 2-inch piece ginger – grated
- 1/2 bulb garlic – peeled, crushed
- 2 tbs harissa
- 1 can (400g) plum tomatoes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 100g dried dates – coarsely chopped
- 2 small preserved lemons – quarted, seeds removed
- Preheat the oven to 160C.
- Crush the spice seeds and a good pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar.
- With a sharp knife, make a few slits in the meat.
- Heat the oil in a pan over a high heat. Add the lamb and brown well all over. Remove and place in a casserole dish.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent.
- Add ginger and garlic, fry until fragrant.
- Stir in crushed spices and harissa, fry until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, cinnamon stick, dates and preserved lemons, bring to boil. Smash the tomatoes with your ladle. Pour this over lamb.
- Cover and bake for about 1 1/2-2 hrs or until meat is tender.