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Pomegranate Lamb

I’ve had some requests for the recipe for pomegranate lamb, which I cooked before Christmas. Now that I’m back home, and within reach of my cookbooks, here it is. The recipe is taken from The Book of North African Cooking by Lesley Mackley which seems to be out of print but available secondhand from Amazon [I’ll put my comments in square brackets]

Serves 4-6 [but it scales down well for 1 or 2. I made enough for 2 then reheated the leftovers the next day]

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm piece root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1kg lean lamb e.g. shoulder or leg, cubed
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • juice of 2 pomegranates, about 300ml
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin [I leave this out]
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed [I leave these out too]
  • 85ml greek yogurt
  • pomegranate seeds to garnish
  • fresh mint to garnish [I leave this out as well]

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole [or a tagine]. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, brown the lamb on all sides, in batches and set aside. Return the onion, garlic, ginger and lamb to the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Gradually stir in the pomegranate juice, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more. There should be very little liquid left. [This bit never seems to work for me. I always end up with quite a lot of liquid left. But I just keep going, and cook the lamb in whatever liquid is left, and boil it off at the end if it looks too sloppy]

Add the cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom to the pan [or if you are a wuss with spices like me, then just the cinnamon and nutmeg] and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the yogurt [I usually have so much pomegranate juice left over at this point that I don’t need any more liquid to cook the lamb in. So I add the yogurt right at the end of the cooking] Cover the pan tightly and cook very gently for 30-40 minutes until the lamb is tender [It will also happily keep simmering away very gently for at least another hour if your guests turn up late. I speak from experience!] Check from time to time that the meat is not sticking and drying out too much. Add  little water if necessary. [At this point I add the yogurt]  Garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped mint [or leave out the mint] and serve with rice [or it’s nice with couscous]

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Frosty | 1 January 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Thanks ever so for posting the recipe Gillian!

  2. Julia Jackson | 2 January 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the recipe, Gillian – will let you know how we get on with it! We had a great Christmas with Peter in Bearsted, and met a lot of his friends. He had a massive 70th birthday party – about 60 people there, with a jazz band. The church choir performed 2 hilarious songs about him – set to well-known hymn tunes – and the cake (made by one of the choir) was decorated with an edible version of him playing the organ, complete with music and hymn books etc!! Brilliant! Your holiday sound exhaustin, but quite fascinating – and full of incident. Glad the fire didn’t cause too many problems, but it must have been scary. Love your photos.

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  1. […] headed back into Wales for Tom and Tia to spend some time with her grandparents. I cooked Katie my pomegranate lamb for Saturday dinner. I’m beginning to feel a bit like a one-trick pony when it comes to […]