Saturday, 6 August 2011

Cooking: Slow cooked lamb with prunes

I'm writing this post just for me. It's a recipe I don't want to lose and by putting it on the blog I'll hopefully have a record of it for years to come.

I discovered this recipe last winter in a copy of Delicious magazine. I cooked it several time last year and I've cooked it three times this winter too. It's warm and comforting, pretty easy to make in big batches and it freezes well. Perfect winter food.

I'm a fan of the richness of the stew, the sweetness from the prunes and honey, and the spice from the harissa. I'm sure a lot of the complexity of the dish comes from quality of the harissa paste you use. I've been buying the Yalla paste and it gets the thumbs up from me.

Serves 6-8

1kg diced lamb shoulder
4 large onions, sliced
2tbs sun dried tomato pesto
1tbs harissa
2tsp ground cinnamon
2tsp honey
1/2 cup of red wine (or water)
1tsp pomegranite molasses
200g pitted prunes
Olive oil

Add some olive oil to a large oven proof pan and brown the lamb in batches and set aside.
Add the onions to the pan and cooking them slowly for 25mins until lightly coloured.

Heat the oven to 150 degrees.

Add the pesto, harissa, cinnamon, honey, molasses, prunes, red wine and 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir to dissolve the honey and bring to the boil. Add the lamb and any juices to the pan.

Place a cartouche of greaseproof paper* on top of the lamb, put the lid on the pan and pop it into the oven for one and a half hours. Turn off the oven and leave the lamb in the cooling oven for another 30mins.

*Don't be tempted to miss out the greaseproof paper. The sauce for the lamb is thick and rich. If you don't add the paper you will lose too much liquid in evaporation.

Lovely served with couscous and some roasted eggplant that has been covered in a garlic, ginger, pesto, harissa and honey marinade.


  1. This is one of my absolute favourite winter combinations- I bulk it out sometimes with chickpeas, just to make it last a little longer. Nb, have just discovered your blog and am kicking myself for taking so long.

  2. Tori - thanks for stopping by. I haven't tried adding chickpeas, but that's a great idea. I'll give it a go next time I cook this dish.