Lucie and Brook have the most beautiful quince tree in their garden. In spring it is covered in pink and white blossom and it produces many fine quinces in the autumn. Tired of just making sweet pastes and jellies and knowing that Moroccans use the quince with lamb I experimented with this very simple recipe.
By Joan Lawrence
Rub a leg of lamb with olive oil and at least 2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout, You can buy ready made or make your own ( Mixture of coriander, cumin, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon and chilli flakes). Sprinkle with Marlborough sea salt.
Place in a small roasting dish. Too big and the liquid will dry out. Place 3 cored quartered quinces around the roast. Add about 1 ½ cups good chicken stock and dot the top of each quince quarter with about ½ teaspoon of honey. Bake in the oven at about 180 degrees C. for 1 ½ hour for succulent lamb still pink inside. Baste meat and quinces occasionally with the liquid. The quinces should have lovely caramelised edges and the liquid should be thick.
Remove lamb and rest for at least 15 minutes. The quinces and much-reduced liquid can then be served alongside the lamb.
I served the lamb with tabbouleh made from lots of chopped parsley, spring onions and tomatoes mixed into soaked burghul or bulgur wheat with plenty of lemon juice and my favourite aubergine, onion and tomato dish called Imam Bayaldi, ‘The Imam Fainted’.