Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Slow-roasted Moroccan Style Lamb

This is the perfect meal to have when Autumn is in full swing and the days are shorter and the weather blustery and cool. A shoulder of lamb slowly cooked in a cool oven until it falls apart, flavoured with vibrant Moroccan flavours guaranteed to warm you up. This meal is ideal for a slow, lazy Sunday spent indoors and especially for a family get together or if you have friends over. I have to thank my sister-in-law Susan for this wonderful recipe as the first time I had it was when she cooked it for me a couple of years ago when I was staying with them. I honestly must have eaten two or three times as much as I should have as it was so good, especially with all the wonderful accompaniments that she served. If you like lamb and you like Moroccan flavours you will absolutely love this meal. It is also incredibly easy to make so perfect for a Sunday dinner.

This is home cooking at its best.....relaxed, casual food with so many wonderful flavours and taste sensations.

3 tbsp olive oil
Shoulder of lamb, boneless (or if you prefer you could use a leg of lamb)
2 onions, peeled & halved
2 cloves of garlic, peeled & 1 whole bulb
4 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp cumin
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
Coriander, roughly chopped

To serve:

Zaalouk (Roasted Aubergine & Tomatoes)
Lemon & Pine nut Couscous
Harissa & Yogurt Dip
Flat breads
Rocket (arugula) spritzed with a little lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 150C/ 300F.

Heat the oil in a large oven-proof casserole dish then quickly sear the lamb on all sides – just so it gets golden. Remove the lamb and set aside on a plate.

Put the onions and 2 cloves of garlic in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped (or you could grate the onions if you don't have a food processor). Saute the onions and garlic in the hot casserole dish for roughly 10 minutes until softened and just starting to turn brown. Add the paprika, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper and cook for a minute before returning the lamb to the pan. Cover the whole thing with water so that the lamb is just covered. Separate the garlic cloves from the bulb but don't peel them. Drop in the whole cloves of garlic then cover with a lid and cook for roughly 3 hours, stirring and checking a couple of times during that time.

Zaalouk {Roasted Aubergines & Tomatoes}

This recipe was adapted from Claudia Roden's book Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey & Lebanon. It is fantastic with so many things but goes especially well with this meal. I like it served warm or at room temperature but you could easily serve it cold as a Middle Eastern salad as was suggested in the initial recipe in Arabesque. One thing to note though with this recipe - don't forget to prick the aubergine (eggplant) which happened to someone I know (who shall remain nameless!), otherwise you might find yourself with exploding aubergines!

500g aubergine/eggplant (roughly 1 large aubergine)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cloves of garlic
400g tin of chopped or whole tomatoes
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice

Pre-heat the oven to 240C/ 475F. Prick the aubergine (eggplant) all over with a sharp knife then put on a baking tray lined with foil and roast for roughly 50 minutes until they feel soft when squeezed gently. Once they are cool enough to handle peel the aubergines then pop the flesh into a colander or strainer with small holes. Press out as much juice as possible then while still in the colander roughly chop the flesh with a knife.

In a medium sized pan heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil then add the garlic. Gently saute for a few minutes being careful not to brown it (otherwise it will taste bitter) then add the tomatoes, salt, chilli powder and cumin. Cook gently for roughly 20 minutes until it has started to reduce and thicken then add the chopped up aubergine. Cook for a further 5 minutes then taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Just before serving add the fresh coriander, lemon juice and the remaining olive oil and stir well. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lemon & Pine Nut Couscous

 Another deliciously simple side dish that I love and that works so well with this meal. Make it at the end and serve as soon as it is ready.

4 tbsp pine nuts
200g couscous
250ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp fresh mint
1 red chilli, finely chopped
Salt & pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden brown, then set aside. Put the couscous in a medium sized bowl then top with the hot stock. Give a quick stir with a fork then cover tightly with some cling film (saran wrap) and leave for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the couscous should have absorbed all of the stock and be perfectly cooked. Fluff up with a fork then add the lemon zest and juice, mint, chilli, seasoning and a good drizzle of olive oil. Mix it all together – still using a fork – then scatter over the pine nuts. Serve at once.


1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of ½ - 1 lemon (depending on how juicy it is)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp tahini paste (or more if you prefer)
Salt and Pepper
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
1 ice cube

Blend all the ingredients apart from the ice cube, in a processor until you have a smooth consistency. Check for seasoning and whether you need any more lemon juice to taste. Add the ice cube and blend until it is mixed in. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.

Yogurt & Harissa Dip

Natural Yogurt
Harissa Paste
Few mint leaves, finely chopped

Simply put enough yogurt in a serving bowl then add a heaped spoonful of harissa paste. Lightly swirl the harissa through the yogurt to create a ripple effect then finish with a scattering of the mint leaves.


  1. WOW!! What a yummy platter! For me this is equivalent to comfort food.

  2. Wowzers!!! What a meal. The lamb looks and sounds incredible. Definitely one for the recipe index do thank you. And all those marvellous dips too!!! Can I come round next Sunday!?!?

  3. This moroccan meal does look amazing. Well rounded and tasty. Now that you have posted all these lovely recipes, I need to get to the grocery store. Delicious!

  4. Oh my, my mouth s watering! I traveled to Morocco when I was 11, and ever since then have loved the flavors and foods.
    This looks absolutely wonderful!

  5. This looks so delicious- definitely putting this spread on my rotation for the upcoming weekend!

  6. this meal looks outstanding! Thanks for sharing all these recipes!

  7. I LOVE lamb. Your recipe for it looks fantastic. I make hummus all the time and our recipes are very similar but I've never seen an ice cube used before. What's the reason for adding it while blending?

  8. Oh, wow. this is great. It looks like I wasn't the only one inspired by Morocco this week. Gorgy!

  9. Thank you all so much for such lovely comments! It really is a delicious meal so if you like lamb I definitely recommend giving it a go!

    Dom - Absolutely!! You are welcome any Sunday although you might have a bit of a commute now that I'm back in Canada!!!

    The Mom Chef - The trick of adding the ice cube came from a beautiful book I bought - Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume by Silvena Rowe. The reason for adding it is that it creates an even smoother hummus! Give it a go and see if you notice a difference : )

  10. I have been thinking of starting a gourmet dinner group with friends and this meal is just what I needed to kick it off! Thank you for sharing what looks to be a wonderful dinner. Would this serve 8 people or should I double the side dishes?

  11. Thanks Oppie! Sounds like a lot of fun. I do something similar with 6 of us and it's great.

    As for this I would definitely double the couscous and probably to be on the safe side the Zaalouk, Hummus and Yogurt & Harissa Dip. That way worst case scenario you get to have left overs! Better than not having enough and all of the side dishes are easy to double.

    Have fun and let me know how it goes! : )


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...