Last weekend I was talking to our stallholder Soufiane of Besaha about his products – various Moroccan spice blends, preserved lemons and delicious Moroccan biscuits. I then realised that I hadn’t cooked anything Moroccan style for ages and neither had we had any lamb for ages. I bought Soufiane’s Moroccan BBQ blend and a jar of preserved lemons and a leg of lamb on the way home. This will be perfect recipe to cook on the barbecue once the weather is a bit more friendly.
1 leg of lamb or lamb shoulder
4 tbsp Besaha Moroccan BBQ spice blend
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
1 piece of fresh turmeric, grated
Juice of 2 lemons
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 medium onions thickly sliced
1 lemon, sliced.
Heat the oven to 150-160°C. Mix all the ingredients (except the lamb, onion and lemon slices) in a small bowl to make a paste. In the bottom of a roasting dish place the onion slices and lemon slices and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Trim any excess fat from the lamb. Using the tip of a sharp knife make slits all over the lamb and push some of the spice paste into each. Rub the rest all over the lamb and place it on the onion and lemon slices. Pour about a cup of water into the dish.
Cover the dish tightly with foil and place in the oven. Cook for 4-5 hours or longer. Check it after 2-3 hours to see if you need to add a little more water. Once ready, remove from the dish and leave the lamb to sit for 15 minutes.
Serve with the pan juices. If there’s not much left, add some water to the dish, scrap the bottom and simmer on the stove for 5 minutes. The onion slices are also delicious to eat with the lamb as they’ll be very soft and caramelised.
I served the lamb with flat breads, a yoghurt sauce (Greek yoghurt mixed with plenty of fresh mint and a teaspoon of sumac) and a freekah salad – cooked freekah mixed with lots of finely chopped parsley and mint, roasted florets of broccoli, a handful of cooked peas and baby spinach leaves.