Quince and Lamb – why, hello there!

I am coming to the end of my quince stash, quite sadly too. Although I am amazed at how well they keep in the fridge, or a cool part of the house. My lot, that I picked at Mum’s house, are still going strong 6 weeks after I collected them. Quince and lamb go so well together, and it is now my favourite to core and quarter a few quinces, throw a shoulder of lamb over the top, rub olive oil and drizzle honey over the top of the lamb, pop in a cinnamon stick and a star anise (if I have them – if not any other spice below will work a treat), and roast it in a 150 degree celsius oven for just over 4 hours. The end result is the most delicious slow roast you will have ever encountered, complete with its own delicious quincey sauce. Try it!

My roast was inspired by this beautiful tagine (which I also like to make, but takes just a little extra time in preparation – not much though, just not as simple as my bang together roast).

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This tagine is a beautiful way to enjoy lamb. The end result is beautiful, lightly spiced morsels of melt in your mouth lamb, with soft sweet quince segments, and punchy hits of coriander! I love it! You can see where I am inspired for the roast!

Ingredients

1 kg diced lamb
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp paprika
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of saffron threads
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) chicken stock
2 quinces, peeled, quartered and cored
2 tbsp honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 piece preserved lemon, soaked, pulp removed and rind thinly sliced

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained Coriander leaves

Cous Cous – to serve

I used my beautiful tagine for this recipe, although it would work just as well in a stock pot, or large saucepan with a lid.

Method

Place the lamb, spices, garlic, onion, cinnamon and saffron in a large heavy-based saucepan or tagine and mix well.

Cover with stock, mix again and then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the lamb is tender.

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When the lamb is just becoming tender – about an hour into cooking, place the quinces in a small saucepan, cover with water, add honey and cook over a medium heat for 45 minutes, until tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

Check the lamb to ensure that it is tender. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If you find the lamb is drying out, add some of the quince poaching liquid to adjust the consistency. Add the quinces, preserved lemon and the drained chickpeas to the lamb. Fold the quinces through gently as they will become a little fragile, and then heat through completely.

Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve with couscous. This is such a beautiful meal toserve on a cold wintery day. Like in Melbourne today! I can’t wait for the winter solstice this Saturday – bring on summer! Although I do need to give my garden some serious TLC – perhaps that can be tomorrows job! xo Em

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RecipeMark Cornelius