Braised Persian Lamb with Pistachio Couscous

    1 hour 45 mins

    Chunks of lean lamb are gently simmered with dates in a richly spiced gravy, then piled atop couscous and pistachio nuts, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. Serve this exotic dish for a special family meal or a make-ahead dish for entertaining, accompanied by some Arabic flat bread and a simple leafy green salad.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 340g boneless lean leg of lamb, trimmed of all excess fat and cut into bite-sized cubes
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
    • 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
    • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
    • 2 pinches of saffron threads
    • 2 tsp ground coriander
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • ½ cup (100g) pitted dates, chopped
    • 600ml lamb or beef stock
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • seeds of 1 small pomegranate to garnish
    • Pistachio couscous:
    • 300ml water
    • 2 ¼ cups (415g) couscous
    • ¼ cup (15g) fresh coriander leaves, chopped
    • ¼ cup (25g) pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr25min  ›  Ready in:1hr45min 

    1. Heat a large non-stick saucepan over a medium–high heat and fry the cubes of lamb, in batches, until browned all over. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
    2. Reduce the heat to low, add the oil to the pan, then add the garlic, ginger, onions and chilli. Fry, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
    3. Return the lamb to the pan, together with the saffron, ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon and paprika. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring well, then add the dates and stock. Season with pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the lamb is tender.
    4. About 15 minutes before the lamb is ready, prepare the couscous. Heat the water until boiling, then add the couscous and return to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover tightly and set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
    5. Fork the couscous through lightly to fluff up the grains, then toss in the coriander and pistachios and pile onto a warmed large serving platter. Spoon the lamb on top of the couscous, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve.

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