I make no secret of the fact that most of my cooking is Asian-inspired. But lately I’ve been in a bit of a rut, cooking the same thing over and over again. So last week I decided to shift continents, say hello to Africa and cook up a Moroccan-inspired lamb dish for dinner, complete with a side of fluffy couscous. The result was marvellous and given how easy it was to make I’ll happily add it to our dinner repertoire.
I made this dish first thing, as I drank my morning coffee. I had already picked out the ingredients the night before and taken the lamb out the freezer to defrost. So all I had to do was prep and cook. It wasn’t too bad really. Just pop the radio on and potter through the prep.
Preheat the oven whilst you do the frying part of the dinner and then you can forget about it for an hour.
This dish is best eaten several hours after initial cooking, or the next day, so that the spices have time to infuse the meat. Mine was done before midday and happily sat on the cooker cooling down all afternoon. Then, come dinner time all I had to do was heat it up 10 minutes before eating.
The Moroccan Lamb is a sweet, aromatic dish. If you like a bit more heat or flavour then do up the spice content. If you garnish with harissa paste, you should get the required heat you desired, and it’s authentic to the experience.
Personally I enjoyed my dinner fairly mild and aromatic. I prepared the couscous with toasted pine nuts, stock and torn mint leaves. It was delicious! The lamb is tender and melts in your mouth. The sweet potato almost dissolves to become a sweet sauce to the meat. And the whole thing is just totally more-ish.
Moroccan Lamb (serves 4)
- Vegetable Oil, for frying
- 600g Lamb (leg or shoulder), diced into 2cm chunks
- 3 small onions, cut into eighths
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1tbsp tomato puree
- 400g sweet potato (roughly 2 medium sized), cut into 3cm chunks
- 500ml lamb stock
- Coarse Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Fresh mint, to garnish
- Harissa Paste, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a large heavy based casserole fish on a high heat. Add the lamb and cook for about 5 minutes until brown all over. Remove lamb and set aside.
- Add a little more oil to the pan and fry the onion with some salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions begin to golden. Add the garlic, ground ginger, ground coriander, cumin seeds, paprika, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir for a couple of minutes.
- Add the tomato purre and stir through. Add the sweet potato and mix well before returning the lamb and juice back to the pan. Next pour in the hot lamb stock, stir well and bring to the boil.
- Pop the lid on the casserole dish and place in a preheated oven at 130C for 1 hour.
- Leave the dish to cool overnight, or for a few hours.
- When ready to serve, bring back to a gentle boil with the lid off and stir well.
- Serve with couscous, a dollop of harissa and a sprinkle of mint.