Lamb Tagine with Pears

4 to 6 Serves

Sweet pears make an unexpectedly delicious foil for tender braised lamb shoulder in this stew-like dish. A trio of spices -- ginger, cinnamon, and saffron -- impart a wonderful aroma as the tagine simmers.


  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil

  • 1 pound whole shallots, peeled

  • 1 ¾ pounds boned lamb shoulder, cut into large pieces

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon saffron

  • 4 firm pears, such as Comice

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add shallots, and saute until lightly browned. Add lamb, and cook until browned all over. Add just enough water to cover (about 3 cups). Season with salt, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and saffron. Simmer, covered, over low heat until lamb is very tender, about 1 hour. If the sauce needs to thicken, uncover, and cook for 15 minutes more.

  2. Meanwhile, quarter and core pears, but do not peel them. In a large skillet, heat butter and remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add pears, and cook until cut sides have caramelized. Place pears, skin-side up, on top of meat in the skillet. Continue to cook, covered, until pears are very tender, about 30 minutes. Be sure not to overcook pears or they will fall apart. Serve immediately.

Related Articles