Pomegranates are in season and the grocery stores have been full of them. I had been looking forward to the pomegranates as I had been wanting to explore with them some more. Despite the fact that a lot of the recipes that I have been seeing that use pomegranates are for sweet dishes for my first recipe I was thinking about something savoury. I was remembering the pistachio crusted rack of lamb with pomegranate and port sauce that I had made a while ago and I was thinking that another take on the lamb a pomegranate combo would be just right. I was also remembering a slowly braised lamb tagine that I had recently enjoyed and the thought of the falling apart tender lamb combined with pomegranates would be really nice. For the pomegranate ingredient I decided to use pomegranate juice to braise the lamb in and then to garnish the finished dish off with pomegranate seeds. Pomegranates can be a little on the tart side so I wanted to include something sweet in the recipe to balance things out. As luck would have it, medjool dates also seem to be in season and they fit in perfectly with the Mediterranean theme that was quickly developing. From there I went with the usual components from my previous tagine dishes making sure to include some fresh mint as a part of the herb blend. The pomegranate and date lamb tagine turned out great! I made absolutely sure to simmer the lamb long enough that it was falling apart tender and this gave time for all of the flavours to mingle. The tart pomegranate and sweet medjool dates balanced and complimented each other perfectly and they went really well with the lamb and the mint finished things off perfectly. I served the pomegranate and date lamb tagine on some light and fluffy pomegranate and pistachio whole wheat couscous .
Pomegranate and Date Lamb Tagine
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound lamb (cubed)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 onions (sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1/4 preserved lemon (pith removed, and peel rinsed and sliced)
- 1/2 cup dates (pitted and coarsely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch saffron
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup mint (chopped)
- 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
- 1/4 cup pistachios (chopped)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add the lamb, brown on all sides and set aside.
- Heat the oil in the pan, add the onion and saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the pomegranate juice, preserved lemon, dates, harissa, paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, salt and pepper, cover and simmer until the lamb it tender about 2-3 hours.
- Remove from heat and mix in the mint and parsley.
- Serve garnished with pistachios and pomegranate.
Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1-3, place everything except the fresh herbs, pistachios and pomegranate in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours before adding the fresh herbs and turning off the heat.