Lamb Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

This is a classic Moroccan lamb tagine with a thick, lemony sauce enhanced by a blend of many flavours.

Serves 6 people

1.3 kg (2 ½ lbs) lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 3cm (1 ½”) chunks
1 medium onion, grated
5 medium onions, finely minced
½ cup red olives, such as Kalamatas or Gaetas
2 preserved lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
¼ teaspoon turmeric
pinch of pulverised saffron
1 teaspoon sharp paprika
¼ teaspoon powdered cumin
2 tablespoons freshly chopped green coriander
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

In a saucepan large enough to hold the pieces of lamb, soak the pulverised saffron in a little hot water. Add the oil, grated onions, pieces of lamb, spices and salt and sauté gently until the pieces of lamb are browned. Add water to cover the mixture. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour, turning the meat often and adding water whenever necessary.

When the lamb is tender, add the minced onions, chopped coriander and parsley. Simmer until the sauce is thick and the lamb is very tender, almost falling off the bone.

While the lamb is cooking, rinse the olives and preserved lemons and set aside.

10 minutes before serving, add the olives, preserved lemons and lemon juice. Taste for seasoning. To serve, place the lamb pieces at the bottom of the serving dish and pour over the sauce. Decorate with the olives and preserved lemons.