Lamb tagine with olives

Serves: 10-12 Prepare & Cook:


  • 1 tsp SpinneysFood Fine Cinnamon
  • 6 cloves, ground in a mortar and pestle
  • 3 tbsp ras el hanout or 1½ tbsp each SpinneysFood Fine Coriander and Paprika
  • 2 tsp SpinneysFood Fine Turmeric
  • 3 tbsp SpinneysFood Fine Cumin
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 lamb shanks
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 dried or regular limes
  • 200g green olives, halved
  • small handful coriander leaves, to garnish
  • couscous or rice, to serve


  1. Combine the ground spices, saffron, garlic, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp white pepper. Loosen with a splash of water to make a paste.
  2. Set a large saucepan or tagine with the oil over a medium-high heat. In batches, fry the lamb shanks for 3-5 minutes on each side, until browned all over. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the onions and cook for 6-8 minutes, until translucent. Return the lamb and any juices to the pan, then stir in the spice paste, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, limes and half the olives.
  4. Pour in 1.35 litres water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 2½ hours, skimming fat from the surface and adding up to 450ml more water if needed, until the meat is very tender.
  5. Discard the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and limes. Season and add the remaining olives. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a large serving dish, garnish with coriander and serve with couscous or rice.

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