bill granger’s lamb tagine

I’m slowing reigniting my love of cooking and last night, for the first time since being back in Australia, I made an old favourite. The smells wafting from the kitchen reminded me of every time I’d eaten the dish, from the balcony of our place in Sydney, to cooking it with a leg of mutton in Ukraine.

This dish, comprised of rather unorthodox (for a Moroccan recipe) ingredients, is by far the yummiest tagine recipe I have in my repertoire.

(Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. This is very easy to cook in one pan – see my notes at the bottom).

Bon appetit!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 small frenched lamb shanks
  • 1 spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon groun cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons grated palm sugar
  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, unpeeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 160C (315F). Heat oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add lamb shanks and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until they are well browned. Remove lamb and place in a baking dish.

Reduce the heat to medium and add onion to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute longer, then add chilli powder, turmeric, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add sugar, fish sauce, chopped tomatoes, lime leaves and stock, bring to the boil. Remove from heat.

Add potatoes and sweet potato to the baking dish with the lamb, and pour the sauce over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 2 hours, or until the lamb falls away from the bone.

Serve with steamed cous cous or rice. Serves 4.

Little Miss Moi’s notes:

  • I only use one cooking dish – I do everything in my Le Creusset. I brown the lamb first, set aside on a plate, do everything else in same pan, put the lamb back in at the end and cover with the lid before putting in the oven.
  • When I don’t have kaffir lime leaves (either fresh or dried), I squeeze lime juice over tagine and mix before serving.
  • I use brown sugar instead of palm sugar.
  • I mix coriander through the cous cous before serving.
  • I sometimes use four big shanks rather than eight small shanks.
  • On the side, I often serve with a simple salad of rocket/arugula/rucola, coriander leaves and sliced green olives. Just enough to freshen the palette.


Adapted from Sydney Food by Bill Granger.


4 thoughts on “bill granger’s lamb tagine

  1. I cooked this last night and it was one of the best dishes i have ever cooked. Lamd was tender and the miriad of flavours was amzing.

    Highly recommended.

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