Lamb ras-el-hanout with nut tabbouleh

Lamb ras-el-hanout with nut tabbouleh

Tara Fisher

Ras-el-hanout translates roughly to ‘top of the shop’ and is a Moroccan spice mixture that can be found in most supermarkets. It’s usually a mixture of chilli, coriander, cumin, turmeric and peppercorns, but some contain as many as 100 different spices. Its name means that you should get a mixture of the best spices the seller has to offer.


Quantity Ingredient


Quantity Ingredient
10 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
10g dried rose petals
1 teaspoon sea salt


Quantity Ingredient
1kg diced leg of lamb
2 red onions
vegetable oil, for frying
3 garlic cloves
5cm piece of fresh ginger
2 red chillies
1 litre chicken stock
250g stoned prunes
2 tablespoons honey
10g fresh mint or coriander leaves


Quantity Ingredient
175g bulghur wheat
700ml chicken stock
2 small red onions
100g pistachio nuts
100g toasted hazelnuts
100g toasted walnuts
5 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and place all the ras-el-hanout ingredients in a spice grinder, then pulse to form a powder. Remove and set aside. Put the lamb in a large bowl, sprinkle over 3 tablespoons of the spice mixture and toss through the meat, ensuring it is well coated. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes. Reserve the rest of the spice mix for use later.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Cut the red onions into 2.5cm dice. Finely chop the garlic, ginger and chillies. Put a flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat and add a little vegetable oil. Add the lamb and cook in batches until golden brown, then remove from the pan. Increase the heat, add the red onions and fry until golden brown. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies and fry for 1 minute. Add the rest of the spice mixture and fry for a further minute. Return the lamb to the pan, add the stock, bring to the boil and add the prunes. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes, until thickened, then remove from the oven. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, make the tabbouleh. Put the bulghur wheat in a saucepan with the chicken stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15–20 minutes over a very low heat, until all the liquid is absorbed and the wheat is tender. Meanwhile, finely chop the red onions, then roughly chop the nuts and herbs.
  4. Allow the bulghur wheat to cool slightly before placing in a bowl with the red onions, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts nuts, lemon juice, olive oil and herbs. Stir well until thoroughly mixed, then season with salt and pepper. Chop the fresh mint or coriander leaves and scatter them over the lamb. Serve the lamb with the tabbouleh.
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
slow cooking
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