Lamb & Merguez Sausage Tagine

Ingredients> For Marinade: 1 tbsp of ground cumin, paprika and turmeric, 1 tsp chilli powder, 2 red onions chopped, 3 garlic cloves, ginger, olive oil, 4 lemon juice, 1 tbsp honey, parsley roughly chopped and coriander.

For the Tagine: 6 piece lamb shanks or a 1kg/2lb 4oz piece lamb or mutton shoulder, 4 tbsp olive oil, 2 carrots sliced, 2 red onions sliced, 12 dried prunes, 1 tbsp honey, juice ½ lemon, 8 merguez sausages, 2 preserved lemons, homemade, 2 mint sprigs and harissa.

Method> For the marinade, roast the spices in a dry pan for a couple mins until fragrant. Put remaining marinade ingredients in a blender and process to a smooth paste, then add the roast spices and blend again to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and pour over the marinade. Leave in the paste overnight, or for at least 2 hrs to absorb all the flavours.

Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. In a large roasting tin, big enough to fit the meat in one single layer, heat the oil and place over a high heat on the hob. Remove the meat from the marinade, wiping off and preserving any excess, then brown shanks on all sides in the hot oil. Add remaining marinade to the dish along with the carrots, onions and prunes, then pour in 1 litre water. Cover the dish tightly with foil and cook in a low oven for 4 hrs until the meat is tender and falling away from the bone.

Add the honey, lemon juice and seasoning and keep warm. If using, fry the sausages until cooked through, then add to the tagine. Serve the meat in a large bowl with the sauce spooned over, then scatter with the preserved lemons and mint, and serve the harissa on the side.

> Shatabdi Sarker Poushi

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