1½ kilograms boneless lamb leg steaks
½ cup plain flour
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
small bunch coriander, leaves and stalks separated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ras al hanout
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cinnamon stick
wide strips of peel and juice 1 orange
2 red onions, peeled and cut into sixths through the root
1 cup unsweetened pomegranate, sour cherry or cranberry juice
1 cup good beef stock
20 pitted prunes
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons pistachios
Preheat the oven to 150˚C.
Trim the lamb of excess fat and cut into large pieces. Put the flour and turmeric in a shallow dish and season generously. Toss the lamb to coat, shaking off any excess flour.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based casserole or tagine.
Add the lamb and cook over a medium heat until golden on all sides. You may have to do this in batches, adding extra olive oil if necessary. Don’t allow the flour to catch and burn on the base of the pan. Remove the lamb to a plate and set aside. Finely chop the coriander stems and any root, reserving the leaves for garnish. Add to the pan along with the garlic, rosemary, ginger, ras al hanout, tomato paste, cinnamon stick and the orange peel and juice. Cook for 2-3 minutes to cook out the spices, adding a splash of water if they start to catch on the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and turn to coat in the spices. Add the pomegranate juice and stock, season and bring to the boil. Add the lamb and any meat juices back to the pan and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 1½ hours then add the prunes and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the lamb is very tender.
To serve: Let the lamb sit for 10 minutes then spoon off any excess fat that has risen to the surface. Transfer the lamb to a serving dish if you haven’t used a tagine and drizzle over the pomegranate molasses, cranberries, pistachios and the reserved coriander leaves. Serve with hot cooked couscous.
Ras al Hanout: a Moroccan spice mix, which loosely translates as ‘house blend’. Local housewives swear their own combination is always the best. Made of numerous spices and aromatics such as cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, coriander, cumin, chilli. The chilli content varies between mixes so quantities will depend on how spicy you want the finished dish to taste. Available from good supermarkets and food stores.