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Moroccan lamb stew

“A lovely, fragrant stew with plaited lamb for extra crispiness to complement the softer meat inside. ”


1 bunch of fresh rosemary
10 cm piece of ginger
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3-4 small dried chillies
extra virgin olive oil
4 small quality lamb neck fillets
4 sweet potatoes
2 red onions
4 cloves of garlic
12 ripe plum tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 handful of dried apricots
350 g couscous
red or white wine vinegar
1 big bunch of fresh coriander
4 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt


Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.

Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves and peel and roughly chop the ginger, then add to a pestle and mortar with the cumin, coriander, fennel seeds and dried chillies. Add a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then pound to a paste, stirring in a couple of tablespoons of oil.

Pour half the marinade over the lamb, and massage well before you plait it, then put aside until needed.

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 2.5cm chunks, peel and roughly chop the onions, and peel and finely slice the garlic, then mix with the remaining marinade.

Heat a little oil in a large ovenproof pan or roasting tray over a medium-high heat, add the lamb and quickly brown on both sides, then remove to a plate.

Add the sweet potato mixture to the pan and fry for around 4 minutes, or until the onions are slightly soft.

Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon, then give the pan a shake and place the meat on top.

Add 3 wineglasses of water, the cinnamon stick, bay leaves and dried apricots, and braise in the preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes (I suggest you do this with the lid off to give it a little colour.

Cover the couscous with 300ml boiling water and leave to fluff up. Season with salt, pepper, a lug of oil and a swig of vinegar, cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 5 minutes to steam.

Pick and roughly chop the coriander and scatter over the lamb before serving. Divide between plates with the couscous and spoon over a good dollop of natural yoghurt.

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