The Lamb & Quince Tagine (from 12 Days of Hipcooks, Day 5) was so tasty! I could not let the concept go without further exploration, since lamb and quince dance in such harmonious complementarity. In case you were not tempted by the first posting (or you were left wanting more), here is another delectable lamb and quince stew: this time it’s scented with saffron and honey. It would be wonderful for the last night of Hannukah.
4 lamb shanks (bone-in)
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large onions, diced
½ teaspoon cumin seeds, freshly toasted and ground
½ teaspoon coriander seeds, freshly toasted and ground
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons honey
1 hearty pinch saffron
1 teaspoon salt
2 poached quinces (see recipe how-to, cut each quince into 8ths)
cilantro, for garnish
Trim the lamb of any excess fat. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and brown the lamb on all sides. Remove the lamb and set aside.
Add the garlic and onions to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Then add the spices. Once all is fragrant, return the lamb to the pan, with just enough hot water to cover everything, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Check on the lamb, turning if needed. Add the honey, saffron, and quince to the pot. Using a vegetable peeler, add a few pieces of lemon rind to the pot, and a generous squeeze of lemon. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, and remove the lamb, setting aside.
Stir the sauce, turn up the heat to a rolling boil, and reduce for about 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust the seasonings. (Consider adding some of the quince poaching liquid for sweetness.)
Serve with the lamb, adorned with cilantro, over couscous.