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Tagine of Lamb with Caramelised Baby Onions and Pears


This recipe showcases The Spice Peddler's Mahgreb blend. The sweetness of the pears goes very well with the lamb, and you can also experiment with using sharp green apples e.g. Granny Smiths instead of pears. Serves 6-8.


1.5kg boned shoulder of lamb (or neck fillet) with most of the fat trimmed

5 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons Spice Peddler's Mahgreb blend

Salt and black pepper

500g baby onions or shallots, peeled

3 large firm pears (Comice or Conference pears work well)

40g butter


Cut the meat into 6-8 pieced and brown in a wide pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Add the chopped onion and cover with water.

Stir in the 2 tablespoons of Spice Peddler's Mahgreb blend, salt and black pepper.  Cover and simmer over a low heat for 1.5 hours turning the pieces over a few times.

Blanch the onions or shallots in boiling water for 5 minutes then peel off the skins and trim the roots once they have cooled.

Add two tablespoons of oil to a fryiing pan and saute the onions over a low heat for 5 -10 minutes until the onions have slightly coloured. Add the onions to the meat and  cook for a further 30 minutes until the meat is very tender and the onions very soft.

Uncover the dish towards the end of the cooking time to reduce the sauce. There should only be a small amount of liquid remaining.

Wash the pears and the quarter and core them but do not peel them.

Saute the pears in a large frying pan in a mix of butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil over a medium heat until the sides are slightly brown and caramelised. If the pears have not softened through, put them into the pan over the meat skin side up, and continue to cook, covered, until they are very tender. Keep an eye on the pears to ensure they do not fall apart.

Serve with couscous.

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