Mechoui lamb with crushed roast potatoes & tomatoes

Mechoui lamb with crushed roast potatoes & tomatoes

By
From
A Month in Marrakesh
Serves
6
Photographer
David Loftus

Mechoui lamb is both a celebratory dish at Moroccan feasts and an everyday way of slow-cooking lamb. In Marrakesh, just behind the Djemaa el Fna square, there’s a tiny alley with three shops selling mechoui lamb by weight. Ovens underneath the shop floors slow-cook the lambs splayed on wooden poles. They are then hoicked out with a hook and placed on a well-worn chopping board. It’s served with bread and cumin salt.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 x 1.5kg lamb shoulders or legs
220ml cold water

Smen paste

Quantity Ingredient
garlic, roughly chopped
50g fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons chilli powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
100g butter, softened
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Crushed roast potatoes and tomatoes

Quantity Ingredient
1kg baby potatoes
5 tomatoes, some halved and some quartered
200g black olives, pitted
sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
* cumin salt [rid:1555]
fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

Method

  1. For the smen paste, place all ingredients in a food processor. Season generously with salt and pepper and blend to a fine paste. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Slash the lamb shoulders with a sharp knife and then rub the smen paste all over the lamb. Place the lamb in a large bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, par-boil the potatoes in a saucepan of salted, boiling water. Drain and roughly crush with a fork. Combine the crushed potatoes, tomatoes and olives in a bowl. Season generously with sea salt and drizzle with the olive oil.
  4. Remove the lamb shoulders from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Transfer the lamb and any remaining Smen Paste to a roasting tin, pour about 200ml water around the lamb and roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven temperature down to 180°C and roast for a further 3 hours, basting occasionally with the juices in the pan, until the meat is tender and the skin is crisp and brown and can be removed easily with your fingers. Scatter the crushed potatoes, tomatoes and olives around the lamb 45 minutes before you take it out of the oven.
  6. Remove the lamb from the oven and rest, covered with foil, for 15 minutes. Serve with the crushed roast potatoes and tomatoes, which have been kept warm in the oven, cumin salt and a sprinkle of mint.
Tags:
Morocco
Moroccan
Marrakesh
Africa
African
North African
Month
A Month in Marrakesh
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