Moroccan Spiced Slow-Roast Lamb
A few weeks back I came up with this delicious Moroccan spiced version of the classic slow-roasted shoulder of lamb. I’ve been boasting about how good this is, so loads of my friends keep asking for the recipe, so here it is. Enjoy. If you know my style, you’ll know I rarely follow a set recipe, my measurements tend to be “a shake of this” and “a handful of that” and I rarely use many ingredients, so this is surprisingly complicated for me…but worth it, it’s so yummy!
Buy a good quality shoulder of lamb. I purchase local, outdoor raised, grass-fed, healthy organic lamb. I can even see the animals grazing in their fields from the upstairs windows of my house, that’s how local the farm is, and that’s how I know they are outside all day, all weather.
I cooked this for 9 people, 4 adults and 5 kids, and I bought a 3.4 kilo shoulder. The kids all ate well, so I guess this quantity would be about right for up to 6 adults.
The first thing to do is to make the marinade. In a bowl, I mix up the following ingredients:
- Approx 300 grams chopped tomatoes
- Good handful of chopped flaked almonds
- Liberal splash of lemon juice
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- Splash of olive oil
- 3 finely chopped gloves of garlic
- Pinch of chili powder or chili flakes
- Pinch of salt
- Generous pinch/grind of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 0.5 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 3 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 teaspoon paprika
- Small handful of sultanas
Once you have cut the joint in this way, both sides (but not so deep on the fleshy underside, go gentle there or you can easily slice straight through the whole joint) then you need to rub the marinade in all over the joint. I suggest you get your baking tray ready, pop a drizzle of olive oil in the tray first, then start with the joint skin-side down. First, rub marinade in all over the fleshy underside of the lamb, then turn it over, putting that side down in the baking tray, then you can run your marinade in all over the fat/skin-side once it’s in the tray. Really massage the marinade into the meat, working the spices and almonds flakes deep into the slashes, pushing the flavours deep into the flesh of the joint. Yummy!
It ought to look a bit like this.
Now preheat your oven to about 170 or 175 degrees and then snuggly cover your joint in two layers of foil, then pop it in the oven for 3 hours. Go for a walk, get some exercise, fill the time wisely, build your appetite!
After 3 hours, take the joint out, carefully lift the foil off (it will likely have stuck to the meat just a little on the top, so ease it away gently without yanking lumps of meat away) and enjoy the smell. Now shake another teaspoon or more of cinnamon over the joint, quarter a lime and push the pieces into the meat, and sprinkle a couple of generous handfuls of flaked almonds all over it, a just a few sultanas. With a tablespoon, baste the whole thing liberally with all the oil and juices in the tray, soak the meat to keep it nice and tender.
Now re-cover with the foil and pop it back in the oven for one more hour.
After 4 hours, turn the oven off, lift the meat out and just leave it for 5 minutes to stand and settle. Then remove the foil and your joint should be so tender you will probably be unable to lift it from the tray, it will just fall apart. Carefully spoon some of the excess liquid out of the tray, then just shred the whole thing where it stands and serve. Soft, spiced, tender, nutritious and utterly delicious.
Serve with a big bowl of roasted Mediterranean vegetables - aubergine, onions, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes and really any veggies you like. And while I personally rarely eat potatoes, I do cook potatoes for my guests, and I will occasionally have a couple myself. I serve this turmeric roasted potatoes. Par-boil the potatoes as usual before you roast them, then liberally sprinkle them with turmeric as you put them in to roast, they come out slightly spiced and golden yellow, they look fabulous.
Finally, I make a mint sauce which again, like the potatoes, is not something I would normally eat, it’s not wholly paleo, but it goes perfectly with this meal. Remember MotherNaturesDiet Core Principle 12 - the 90/10 rule…that’s what we are using here! So the mint sauce is made using yoghurt, like the raita often served with Indian or Bangladeshi food. I buy a big pot (500 ml) of organic, plain, unsweetened natural yoghurt, and then mix into it several tablespoons of regular mint sauce, you can adjust the amount to suit your taste. The cool minty yoghurt goes wonderfully with the spicy lamb, mouth wateringly delicious.
That’s it, enjoy, and if you try this, post below and let me know if you like it! Thanks. Stay healthy, stay happy.