Lamb tagine with mint and pomegranate

Carrying a large terracotta tagine on an aeroplane in hand luggage is no mean feat. Especially when accompanied by a medium-sized decorative tagine, an array of mini tagines (notice a theme here), a ceramic drum/tamtam, a huge serving bowl and six pudding bowls…

…So, after all that effort, I make sure I blimin’ well use it!

Before you cry “But I don’t have a large terracotta tagine” and hit close window… you can make a tagine in a normal large pan!

Lamb tagine with mint and pomegranate

Lamb tagine with mint and pomegranate; this green serving dish is a decorative tagine – for serving only, not cooking, as it cannot withstand the heat of an oven

The tagine


Tagines being cooked halfway up a mountain

I mentioned the tagine is a previous post Souk up the mystical atmosphere in the Jemaa el Fna, Marrakech. A tagine is a slow-cooked stew, named after the cone-shaped terracotta pot that it is cooked in. The tagine is placed over coals, and the cone-shaped lid traps the steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot.

For our purposes (I don’t know about you, but I am not cooking over hot coals), the tagine can be used on the hob and in the oven.

The tagine needs to be “seasoned” before  use. See this website for how to do that!

My tagine

My tagine: “seasoned” and ready to go

And if you don’t have your own tagine… just use a normal oven-proof pan.

I have made quite a few tagines in the last few years – my family were lucky (?debatable?) enough to be served chicken tagine on Christmas day 2011 – but I have never made a lamb one. In the back of my mind I have am aware lamb is good in combination with pomegranate. By slow cooking the meat in pomegranate juice, the result was meltingly tender lamb falling off the bone, with a sweet, almost sticky, dark sauce.


1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp ras el hanout (see box below)

350 g stewing lamb – I used lamb neck, which is perfect for a long cooking time and the bones add flavour to the tagine

Glug sunflower oil

3 garlic cloves, kept whole

6 new potatoes (or equivalent if using larger potatoes), chopped in half

2 medium-sized onions, sliced (not too small)

1 carrot, sliced (not too small)

Cinnamon stick

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

2 tsp harissa paste

12 dates, whole

1 tsp honey

250 ml pomegranate juice (proper stuff; not the juice drink)

Small bunch of fresh mint, half to add to tagine and half for the top

Pomegranate seeds, to serve

NB, you can pretty much put whatever vegetables and spices you want in here, experiment… I think it would be very hard to get it too wrong.

Ras el hanout is a Moroccan blend of spices. The name means “head of shop” in Arabic – i.e. the best that the vendor has on offer – and thus the blends differ from place to place. Find a spice shop in Morocco and ask them for ras el hanout (tip – write it down) and bring me some back too please!

In the UK, you can buy from Waitrose, or look make your own blend.


  1. Place the cumin, turmeric, paprika and ras el hanout into a bowl and mix.
  2. Take the lamb pieces and place them one by one into the spice mix, so they are covered in spice.
  3. Heat the oil in a tagine or large ovenproof pan on the hob on a medium heat.
  4. Brown the lamb in the oil.
  5. Take out the lamb and put aside on a plate.
  6. In the same tagine or pan, add the garlic and onions and fry until soft.
  7. Place the lamb back into the tagine/pan and add the potatoes, carrots, cinnamon stick, ginger, harissa paste, dates and pomegranate juice.
  8. Place into a low oven (150°C ish, but it will depend on your cut of meat and oven) for approx. 3 hours (better cuts of meat need less time). Keep checking it and poking it around to see how it is getting on.
  9. When it is done, stir through half of the mint.
  10. To serve, either transfer into dish or serve straight from the tagine/pan. Sprinkle with the remaining mint and pomegranate seeds. Serve with cous cous, if you fancy.
Browned and ready to go in the oven

Browned and ready to go in the oven


And, 3 hours later… you can see why I transferred into the serving tagine can’t you?!

Some photos of tagine eating in Morocco:

Ari and a tagine

Ari plus tagine

Me and a tagine

Me plus tagine

Spice shop in Marrakech

Spice shop in Marrakech – just ask for the “ras el hanout”

A good look

Can you tell we were forced into this? About 10 seconds prior, the vendor groped me. Nice.


Filed under Morocco, Recipes, tried and tasted

5 Responses to Lamb tagine with mint and pomegranate

  1. i honestly can’t wait to try this! It looks so delicious! I love moroccan food! Thanks for sharing

    • BeccaHills

      Thanks Manu! It looks like you started blogging around the same time as me :-)
      I will be catching up on your posts!

  2. The ‘three-hours later’ photo of the Tagine looks absolutely incredible. It’s fantastic when you can bring home the know-how of such an exotic dish from a trip.
    EarthDrifter recently posted…People: Captured for the Camera in ColombiaMy Profile

    • BeccaHills

      That’s what global streetbite is all about! I love the food when I go on holiday, and when I get back I miss it so much… I have to try and have a go! :-)

  3. Pingback: Morroccan Glamour for Your Wedding Day

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