Fragrant spices, fruit, and pomegranate molasses cut through the richness of the lamb, resulting in a dish that is a wondrous balance of sweet, spicy and sour flavors. Serve it with couscous for a memorable holiday dinner.
You can cook this dinner on the stovetop, in the oven or even in a slow-cooker. All will produce a lamb that will be fragrant and meltingly tender.
Tagine-Inspired Lamb with Quince
3½ pounds of lamb (rack or leg, bone-in)
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large onions, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon paprika
½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoon pomegranate molasses
poached quince slices from about 2 poached quince (see recipe above)
Trim the lamb of any excess fat. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Brown the lamb all over. Remove the lamb and set aside.
Add the garlic and onions to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Then add the tomato paste and spices. Once all is fragrant, return the lamb to the pan, with just enough hot water to cover everything. Stir in the salt and pomegranate molasses and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Check on the lamb, turning if needed, and taste (and adjust) the seasonings to your liking, adding more spice if it is too mild, or pomegranate if it needs a touch more sweet and sour. Add the poached quince and cook a further 15 to 20 minutes.
When you are ready to serve, garnish with parsley.