The weekend before last, Terry Lister had Japanese quinces for sale. They look different than the quinces we’re used to – much longer. I thought I’d give them a try in a tagine with the wild goat I’d just bought from Dierdre. If Terry doesn’t have any more quinces use apples instead and if you’re not keen to try goat use lamb or beef.
- Ingredients (serves 4):
- 800g – 1kg of goat meat cut into large cubes or goat osso bucco pieces
- 2 finely sliced onions
- 2 diced carrots
- 5-6 cloves crushed garlic
- Handful of raisins
- 3 tbsps ras el hanout spice mix
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- A pinch of saffron threads
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- Bouquet of coriander stalks and parsley
- Up to litre of lamb stock (or mix of stock and water) Salt and pepper Finely chopped parsley and coriander to garnish
- For the quinces:
- 4 quinces peeled and cut into a quarters or eighths (put in water immediately to stop them discolouring)
- 3 tbsps butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsps sugar
- 2 tbsps honey
- Handful of raisins
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Heat a little oil in a flameproof oven dish, dust the goat pieces in flour and brown the meat in batches. Remove and set aside.
Brown the onions and carrots in the oil, add the garlic, spices, bouquet garni and raisins. Return the meat to the dish, season and add enough stock to cover.
With the lid on, cook in the oven for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 140ºC and cook for about 2 hours. Check and add more stock if it seems too dry.
While the goat is cooking and about 30 minutes before it’s ready, prepare the quinces. Place the pieces in a pot with enough water to cover. Add 1 tbsp of sugar. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes till the quinces are soft but not mushy.
Drain reserving about 4-5 tbsps of the poaching liquid. Refresh the quinces in cold water and dry them on paper towels.
In a pot add the other ingredients to the reserved liquid. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the quinces rounded side down. The aim is to make a thick syrupy coating on the fruit which will caramelize and become golden. Mix in 1-2 tbsps of sauce from the goat.
To serve, place the goat on a bed of couscous and add the quince pieces and the syrup. Sprinkle with finely chopped coriander and parsley.