Pulled Lamb Tagine and Red Cabbage Slaw

Pulled Lamb Tagine and Red Cabbage Slaw

Serves: 4
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours

Description

If you like slow-cooked lamb, scrag end chops are unbelievably good. Rich, luxuriant meat, absolutely packed with flavour - and bit of a bargain too at just a few pounds per portion. This dish sees them slow cooked with a heady Moroccan-inspired spice mix, caramelised shallots, fennel and prunes, before being pulled from the bone and served with a sharp tomato salad to cut through all the richness. You’ll need a decent casserole dish, tagine or claypot for this recipe - something thick and sturdy with a lid that can, ideally, go straight from hob to oven.

The tagine can be cooked a day or two in advance and - just heat to a gentle simmer before serving. This dish can be served with couscous, bulgur wheat or a big pile of flat breads.

Method

1. Heat the oven to 160°C.
2. Cut the shallots into fat discs, around 2cm thick. Remove the feathery fronds from the fennel and keep to one side. Remove and discard the tough fennel stalk base. Cut the fennel bulb in half, then into 1cm 'half-moon' slices.
3. Heat a large casserole dish over a high heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season the chops with a little sea salt and sear for 2 minutes either side - do this in two bathes if your casserole can't comfortably accomomdate all four chops in one layer. Set the chops to one side while you fry the vegetables. 
4. Add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil to the casserole along with the butter. Add the chopped shallot and fry over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until they're lightly caramelised, stirring frequently so that they don't burn. 
5. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic and fennel. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until they begin to smell sweet. Add the dry spices and cook for 2 minutes. Add the carrot, prunes, reserved fennel fronds and return the chops to the pan, then add stock until the chops are just submerged. Add a lid, place in the oven and bake for two hours, turning the chops over occasionally. 
6. While the tagine is cooking, prepare the saw. Shred the cabbage as finely as you can and place into a bowl or tupperware container. Slice the red onion into very thin half moons and add to the cabbage. Add a few large pinches of sea salt and juice of half the lemon. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
7. When the cooking time is up, remove the casserole from the oven. Carefully remove the chops from the cooking liquor with tongs and place on a plat until they are cool enough to handle, around 10 minutes. In the meantime, let the cooking liquid settle, then skim off the fat (this is superb when used to fry or for roast potatoes). Shred the lamb meat back into the cooking liquid, discarding the bones. 
8. When you're ready to serve, heat the tagine and remove the slaw from the fridge. Taste the tagine for seasoning and add salt - it will need quite a generous amount so add a good few pinches. Add the juice from the remaining lemon half and the pomegranate molasses to the slaw and mix well. Serve with your chosen side - we like to pile it into a big flatbread - and enjoy. 

Ingredients

For the tagine

4 lamb scrag end chops
Sea salt flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
20g butter
4 banana shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic
1 bulb fennel
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 carrot, peeled and grated
16 prunes
300ml vegetable stock

For the slaw
1/2 red cabbage
1 small or 1/2 large red onion, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
A few pinches of sea salt
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses