Sunday, 29 January 2012

Slow-Cooked Harissa Lamb with Coriander, Cherries and Apricots

Slow-Cooked Harissa Lamb with Coriander, Cherries and Apricots
served with Jewelled Couscous
Lamb bubbling and cooking away
Slow-Cooked Harissa Lamb with Coriander, Cherries and Apricots

Rose Harissa

What's not to like about this? Rich, succulent lamb that's been braised for a long time in the low heat oven till it falls apart. Imagine having a mouthful of  marshmallow in your mouth, the soft, melts-in-your-mouth tenderness, accompanied by the piquant flavour from the harissa. This is exactly the kind of food I often longed for when the nights are getting colder. Slow-cooked food that bubbled way gently for hours in the oven or on the stove.
Harissa is a North African spice paste that are normally added to meat or fish stew, and are just as delicious when used as a flavouring in couscous. I am using Rose harissa that include rose petals as part of it's ingredient here which I think add another dimension to the dish.

(Serves 2)


a couple olive oil
500g stewing lamb, such as shoulder, or chump end, cut into 3-4cm pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely diced
a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped, leaves separated from the stems
2 garlic cloves. crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp harissa
400ml chicken stock
juice of 1 orange
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
a handful each of dried cherries and apricots


Preheat the oven to 180C. Heat a casserole pan over a medium-high heat with some olive oil. Sear the chunks of meat until they are browned. Removed from the pan and set aside. Do this in batches if necessary so as not to crowd the pan. Once finished browning all the meat, turn down the heat to a medium add the onion and celery to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes, until soften and translucent.

Add the chopped coriander stems and the garlic to the pan, along with the ground coriander and cumin. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the spices and the garlic are cooked and gives off an aromatic fragrant. Add the harissa and the stock.

Return the lamb to the pan. Add the orange juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to the boil. Transfer the casserole into the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is soft and tender. Remove the casserole from the oven. Add the dried fruits, replace the lid and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Add the chopped coriander leaves and serve with some jewelled couscous.


  1. Oh wow,this sounds amazing!Simple flavors,but brought together deliciously.I am sure that cooking the chicken for almost 2 hours in the oven will make it melting soft.The 'Jewelled Couscous',rightly named,looks tempting as well.
    Going to note down/bookmark this recipe.Thank you for sharing!:-)

    1. Thanks for your kind words. This recipe is for lamb but will also work for chicken. If using chicken, I would recommend using thighs as they are less likely to dried out and perhaps reduce the cooking to about 45-50 minutes.
      Let me know the how you get on :)



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