Amina Elshafei Has Shared The Perfect Autumn Lamb Recipe

Amina Elshafei Has Shared The Perfect Autumn Lamb Recipe

by | Apr 14, 2021

Creating the recipe as part of the Lamb Legends series in which iconic chefs are invited to cook a delicious meal to celebrate a deserving local legend, Amina Elshafei chose 2020 Principal of the Year, Kerrie Nelson, who is the National Director and Principal of Giant Steps, a leading educational centre for children with autism. Kerrie has spent the last 15 years working to improve Australia’s understanding of autism and its complex nature, and helping thousands of children reach their full potential, while providing their families support and guidance. 


Elshafei created the recipe to celebrate Kerrie by focusing on a classic Australian protein.

“This recipe is based on a loved celebratory dish in Morocco called mrouzia. The dish is traditionally made with lamb and is accentuated with saffron and a dried fruit (usually prunes or dates or even a mix). As Kerrie had recently been awarded principal of the year, for her inspiring work at Giant Steps, I thought that this dish would be a perfect way to celebrate Kerrie’s incredible achievement with fabulously delicious Australian lamb,” Elshafei explains.

“When creating a recipe, I always consider a few things including seasonal produce, the purpose of what I’m creating, the ease of the recipe, cultural influences and the audience for who I’m creating the recipe for. Undoubtedly recipe creation can be tricky but it’s very rewarding when you receive great feedback from those who try my recipes out!”

Give it a try below.


PREP TIME: 20 mins


  • 1kg boneless lamb shoulder, excess fat trimmed and cut into 5cm cubes
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3tbs olive oil
  • 2 medium brown onions
  • 20 strands of saffron
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ cup toasted whole blanched almonds
  • Water
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots
  • 3/4 pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp Moroccan spice mix (also known as ras el hanout)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups dried couscous
  • 2 ¼ cups vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3tbs salted butter
  • 2tbs finely chopped coriander leaves and stems
  • 2tbs finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp Moroccan spice mix (also known as ras el hanout)


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 2tsp of Moroccan spice blend, ground ginger, 1/2 tsp of salt and 2tbs of the ol-ive oil and mix well. Add the lamb pieces and massage the spice paste into the lamb for a few minutes.
  2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a tagine or heavy based sauté pan and once hot, add the lamb pieces. Cook the lamb pieces until browned.
  3. Halve the onions and slice into 0.5cm pieces. Add to the browned meat and allow to simmer of medium heat until the onions become translucent.
  4. Add the saffron, cinnamon sticks and vegetable stock. Mix well and bring the sauce to the boil. Once boil-ing reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook the lamb for 2 hours. If needed, add a few table-spoons of water to the lamb if there is not enough liquid during cooking.
  5. Whilst the lamb is cooking, make the fruit compote by adding all the ingredients into a saucepan and bringing to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until the fruit compote is left with 2tbs of liquid. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. In the last 15 minutes of the lamb cooking, mix the fruit compote gently with the lamb pieces. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for the last 15 minutes on a vigorous simmer until the sauce slightly thickens. After 15minutes, remove from the heat, cover and leave to rest for 10minutes.
  7. Whilst the lamb is resting prepare the couscous. Combine stock, butter and salt and heat until boiling. Stir until melted. Add the couscous and mix well in the hot stock. Cover tightly and leave for the grains to ab-sorb for 5 minutes.
  8. After 5 minutes, fluff the couscous grains with a fork and stir through the chopped herbs. Place in a serving platter. Garnish the lamb tagine with the toasted whole blanched almonds and serve hot with the couscous.


  • Deboned lamb shanks or lamb leg would also work in place of shoulder.
  • Dates can be replaced with dried raisins or sultanas.
  • This dish can be made in a shallow heavy based saucepan with a well fitted lid.

Get inspired and watch Amina and Kerrie’s video at

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