Sunday, 15 September 2013

Mad Moroccan Lamb

For todays post I'm sharing a recipe that isn't one of mine, nor one that is of my mothers. It's a recipe from a chef who I am a huge fan of, from his very early days as The Naked Chef - the amazing Jamie Oliver.

In all honesty I stumbled on Jamie by pure chance, bored at home one weekend channel hopping and I caught an episode of The Naked Chef half way through and I was instantly hooked. Fast forward 16 years and I am still very much a fan of him & religiously watch his shows, and own (almost) all his cookery books

I love his drive for healthier school meals, his passion for his foundation set up to help youngsters step into the world of cookery and that he really tries to show how cooking can be enjoyable, easy and not just a chore.  

I absolutely love this recipe as not only is it the base of a roast, but with a Moroccan twist - and I'm definitely a fan of foodie twists !!

This recipe was the perfect excuse to invite people over to eat with the 4 of us -  so I invited my cousins & their kids, and am quite chuffed with how much it was enjoyed, considering it was my first attempt. I followed the recipe to the exact specifications, if i were to change anything, it would be to half the amount of cous cous as you end up with quite a bit left over !

For 6-8 people you will need :

for the lamb:
1 x 2kg lamb shoulder
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
2-3 dried red chillies
2 tsp salt
small handful rosemary leaves

for the chickpeas:

4 large red onions peeled and sliced
1 cinnamon stick
bunch of marjoram or tyme leaves
2x 400g tin of chickpeas
200ml balsamic vinegar

for the cous cous:

2 pints of water
250g mix of  dried apricots, raisins, sour cherries & cranberries
700g cous cous
2 lemons halved

for serving:
500ml plain yougurt
handful fresh coriander
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded & finely sliced

  • Preheat your oven to 220c/ Gas mark 7. Score the lamb in criss crosses about an inch apart. In a grinder or pestle and mortar smash up the spices till you have a powder, and with a little olive oil rub this all over the lamb, and push some rosemary into the cuts of the lamb. Put the lamb in a roasting tin, cover with foil and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
  • Next, heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry your onions, along with the cinnamon and marjoram or tyme for about 15 minutes or until the onion have softened. Add in the chickpeas with 3/4 pint of water and balsamic vinegar. Simmer on a low heat till nice & thick and remove from the hob.
  • In a saucepan, bring your water to the boil & add in the dried fruits, simmer for 5 minutes, the fruit will plump up. Remove from the heat and add in the cous cous with a little olive oil and leave to soak up the water. When there is no liquid left in the cous cous, pour onto a baking try and spread out flat evenly.
  • After 2 hours, the lamb should be golden and just roasted all the way through. Lower the heat to 200c/ Gas mark 6, remove the lamb from the oven and set aside out of the roasting tin. Add a little water to the roasting tin, and scrape off any sticky bits from the bottom of the tin.
  • Grab a large pot or another roasting dish with 4-5 inch high sides and lightly brush with olive oil, add in a quarter of the cous cous, or just enough to cover about 1 inch of the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the lamb into the pot, and sprinkle over the chick peas- remember to remove the cinnamon stick. Put the lamb on top, pour over the roasting pan juices and then add the rest of the cous cous, covering the lamb evenly. Place the lemon halves on top, lightly oil and wet a sheet of greasproof paper and cover the cous cous. Cover with a sheet of foil and place back in the oven for an hour - hour and a half.
  • Use a knife to pull some of the cous cous away, and the meat should pull away and fall of the bone- it's now done. Leave to rest for 5 minutes while you spike the yogurt with the juice from the roasted lemons.  
  • Dollop some yogurt into the middle of the dish, scattered with the chopped coriander and chilli and serve !

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