Moroccan Spiced Lamb, Eggplant & Date Tagine

Serves 6-8
Time 2 hours

Ingredients

500g lamb leg, diced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 large onion, sliced
1 eggplant, cubed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 knob turmeric, grated
1 red chilli, chopped
1 tsp saffron
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp harissa paste
1 orange, zest and juice
1 bunch coriander
12 dates (pitted and sliced)
600ml boiling chicken stock
1 x (400g) can crushed tomatoes
1 x (400g) can chickpeas, in their liquid
15g chopped pistachios

For the couscous
3 cups stock or water
1 ½ cups couscous
1 preserved lemon, roughly chopped
¼ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
pinch of salt

To serve
1 spring onion, thinly sliced

Method

Preheat the oven to 160°C
Season the lamb with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Add lamb to a large pan on a medium high heat and sear until brown on all sides.
Meanwhile, add some extra virgin olive oil to a large oven safe pot over a medium heat with onion, garlic, chilli and stir through. Add eggplant, spices, including star anise and bay leaves, orange zest and juice, harissa paste and coriander. Add some more extra virgin olive oil if the pan becomes a little dry.
Add lamb to the ovenproof pot and deglaze the pan with chickpeas and their liquid. Pour chickpeas and liquid into the pot with the lamb. Add dates and canned tomatoes, stock and season with salt and pepper.
Cover stew with a round piece of baking paper and place the lid on the pot. Cook in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the lamb is very tender.
For the couscous, boil water in a small pot, add preserved lemon, pistachios, olive oil and a large pinch of salt. Pour in couscous and gently stir to combine. Place a lid on top and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.
Serve tagine with couscous and thinly sliced spring onions to garnish.