Ingredients

  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shoulder of lamb (deboned, cut into chunks)
  • 4 onions (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
  • 20 dried stoned apricots
  • 20 dried stoned prunes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • optional extras:
  • a couple of handfuls of almonds or sesame seeds (toasted)
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • fresh coriander and mint

Method

  • Heat the oil in the casserole dish, add the meat and onions and brown on a brisk heat. Sprinkle on the spices and continue to cook for a few minutes.
  • Add enough water to almost cover the meat (leaving about a quarter above water level), stir and scrape the bottom of the casserole to deglaze and bring to the boil.
  • Cover the casserole, add a little salt and pepper, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 90 minutes, and up to 150 minutes, adding water as it cooks down.
  • The dish is best left alone after two hours of cooking and then reheated the next day. You could also give a nod to tradition and cook the browned meat for a couple of hours in an oven preheated to 130-150°C (275-300°F/gas mark 1-2), stirring from time to time.
  • About 20 minutes before serving, add the dried fruits and let them heat through. If you like, sprinkle with nuts and herbs, swirl in the honey and serve.