Tom Kerridge’s Harissa Lamb & Lime Couscous

 Last year I had a table booked at The Hand & Flowers – spent months looking forward to it, only to be unable to go by the time the date came around due to some big changes in my personal life. I’m sure I’ll get there one day but for now, I console myself with Tom’s cookbook ‘Best Ever Dishes’

As you know, I love a good cookbook and have a rather sizeable collection. By my standards, this one ticks all the right boxes. Gorgeous mouthwatering photography – tick. Interesting recipes such as this Harissa Lamb and Lime Cous Cous – tick. Easy to follow instructions – tick. All good, well done Tom!

Tom Kerridges Best Ever Dishes

 Home made harissa lamb with cous cous

Last time I had friends over for Sunday lunch I decided to do something a bit different and I went for Toms slow-roast harissa lamb with lime couscous recipe. The method is there for homemade harissa but due to time I bought a paste, the Tesco one is surprisingly good – one of the best I’ve tried. Next time I’ll definitely be trying it from scratch!

There are a lot of instructions and ingredients for this dish which feeds 4-6 people. For the harissa, you can see the ingredients and method from the original recipe here. Taken from Tom’s cookbook (the whole recipe is not available online), here’s what to do for the rest of the dish:



  • 1 leg of lamb on the bone weighing 2kg (or shoulder would work)
  • 10 red onions, peeled and halved
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • Jar of harissa paste (if not using your own)

Cous Cous:

  • 100ml olive oil
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 400ml water
  • 2 chicken stock cubes (Tom recommends these! Just as good as fresh stock for this recipe)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 400g Cous Cous
  • 4 tbsp roughly chopped parsley & same of coriander
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 100g pitted and halved black olives
  • Finely grated zest and juice of a lemon
  • Salt & pepper to season



  • Make 1cm deep cuts all over the lamb (around 10-15 total) and rub 3-4 tablespoons of harissa all over the meat, really making sure you’ve massaged it right in.
  • Put the red onions into a large roasting tray and lay the leg on top. Wrap the whole tin in clingfilm and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat your oven to 140c/gas mark 1. Unwrap the lamb and place the tin in the oven.
  • Roast for 4-5 hours, basting occasionally until you can lift the lamb away from the bone with a fork. Lift the lamb out and place on a board or serving plate.
  • Put the chicken stock into the roasting tray with the charred and softened onions. Place on the hob and bring to the boil. Scrape the bottom of the tray with a spoon to get the flavoursome bits free.
  • Bubble and let the liquid reduce by a third until you have a thick, rich onion sauce. Stir in 1 tablespoon of harissa and the coriander.

Cous Cous:

  • Pour 50ml olive oil into a saucepan. Add the saffron and let it steep in the oil over a low heat for 5 minutes. Raise the heat a little, add the onion and garlic and sweat gently until soft, stirring occasionally – for 10-15 minutes.
  • Bring 400ml of water to the boil in another saucepan. Crumble in the chicken stock cubes & lime leaves.
  • Add the couscous to the onion and saffron mix and stir. Pour in the chicken stock and lime leaf mix and remove from the heat. Cover the saucepan with clingfilm and leave for 10 mins until the couscous has soaked up the liquid. Fluff with a fork.
  • Stir in the herbs, olives and 2-3 tablespoons of harissa. Finally add the remaining olive oil, lemon zest and juice and season to taste.
Tesco harissa paste Lamb shoulder with harissa

This was a chance to use the saffron I brought home from a recent trip to Valencia – I love how cute the bottle is and the tiny cork. Any excuse to fill that condiments cupboard up further… 🙂

Spanish saffron
Slow cooking saffron with onions
Home made red onion gravy
The finished thing – delicious. The lamb was tender and really flavourful. It’s worth the 5-hour wait and believe me, your house will smell like heaven! Harissa is such a lovely warming flavour. I chose to serve with a simple green salad to help bulk out the meal. The couscous was the only thing we were very slightly disappointed with – a little dry but that could be because I made it in advance and should have added a few drops of liquid to help revive it before serving.
Cous cous with red onions and harissa lamb

Grab a copy of Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Recipes now!

Leave a comment

  1. 18th July 2015 / 7:43 pm

    My lack of chef knowledge is shocking. I'd not heard of Tom Kerridge until I read this – call myself a foodie 😉 The cous cous sounds delicious.

  2. 18th July 2015 / 9:09 pm

    oh super delicious,or should I say lush and other such Tom Kerridge phrases. Love his style of food and this looks perfect.

  3. 19th July 2015 / 7:23 pm

    I love Tom's recipes, accessible gourmet pub grub. I love this dish, a perfect feast for family and friends.

  4. 20th July 2015 / 11:38 am

    it looks wonderful. I particularly love the look of the pan with the veg. This kind of way to serve lamb is my absolute favourite. So summery and rich and delicious!

  5. 20th July 2015 / 8:07 pm

    Lots of lovely comments from you all, thanks guys. It really was 'Lush' in the words of the wonderful TK!

  6. 16th September 2015 / 12:47 pm

    Wow!! Foods looks so yummy and delicious.i just loved it. Hey, Can you please send me some mixed spices recipe which I can made at home.

  7. 10th April 2016 / 8:05 am

    Tried this and it was delicious. I actually think I would cook it even longer than 5hours till the meat really falls apart.The couscous was amazing and I served some tzatziki and flatbreads with it and a tomato onion and coriander salsa. Really great. I am using a similar method r
    Today but just used traditional garlic and fresh herb paste for a Sunday roast.

  8. 10th April 2016 / 8:30 am

    Oh that sounds delicious – there isn't anything better than roasted garlic! Thanks for reading and commenting Bryan – enjoy your Sunday lunch! 🙂

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