Moroccan-Spiced Lamb

At Lafayette restaurant in New York City, the lamb is served with cooked quinoa that’s folded into couscous, but you could simply choose one or the other as a side dish.

Ingredients

  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper plus more
  • 2 racks of lamb (about 2 lb. total), rib bones frenched
  • 1 lb. small carrots, peeled, halved
  • 8 scallions, root ends trimmed
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt plus more

Recipe Preparation

Ingredient info:

  • Harissa paste is available at Middle Eastern markets, some specialty foods stores, and from online sources.

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Mix ginger, cayenne, coriander, cumin, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. black pepper in a small bowl; rub all over lamb.

  • Heat oil in a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook lamb until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Add carrots and scallions to skillet, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat in pan drippings. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until vegetables are tender and browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of lamb registers 125° for medium-rare, 10–12 minutes (if the lamb finishes cooking before the carrots, transfer it to a cutting board and continue cooking carrots).

  • Meanwhile, whisk garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, and harissa paste in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper and set harissa yogurt aside.

  • Transfer lamb to a cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Cut each rack between rib bones into two-rib chops. Serve with vegetables and harissa yogurt.

  • DO AHEAD: Harissa yogurt can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

,Photos by Christopher Testani

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 650 Fat (g) 38 Saturated Fat (g) 14 Cholesterol (mg) 185 Carbohydrates (g) 16 Dietary Fiber (g) 4 Total Sugars (g) 9 Protein (g) 59 Sodium (mg) 750Reviews Section

Moroccan-Spiced Lamb with Date Barbecue Sauce

In a small bowl, combine the coriander with the cumin, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the spice mixture for the date barbecue sauce. Stir 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of the olive oil into the remaining spice mixture.

Using a small, sharp knife, make 1/2-inch-deep slits all over the lamb. Press the garlic slices into the slits. Coat the lamb with the spiced oil, making sure to rub it in the slits. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the onion and minced garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved 3 tablespoons of the spice mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the beef broth, honey, saffron water and cayenne pepper and simmer over high heat until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the minced dates and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they break down and the sauce is thick and glossy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and season the sauce with salt and black pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup of the date barbecue sauce for glazing the lamb.

Light a grill. Lightly season the lamb with salt and black pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until the lamb is nicely charred all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg registers 130°, about 15 minutes per side. During the last 3 minutes of grilling, brush the reserved 1/2 cup of date barbecue sauce all over the lamb. Transfer the grilled lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, toss the olives with the mint and cilantro. Slice the lamb across the grain and serve with the date barbecue sauce and olive relish.


Reviews

This is a great recipe - everyone loved it including the kids. I thought it was delicious but just way too rich for my taste. It is quite time consuming and uses a lot of pots and pans but is easy to make if you follow the recipe exactly. Needed more acidity to balance out the richness so I probably would add more tomatoes if I were to make again.

I followed the recipe exactly. I made my ras el hanoute from fresh spices I had purchased on a trip to India. The recipe took a lot of time, but the result was excellent. I added almost no salt. The other spices blended beautifully. This recipe is definitely one I will make again.

I made a half batch and cut all measurements accordingly except the mint. Could not find dried mint so I doubled the amount directed and used fresh--but I couldn't taste it at all in the end product. Also, since I am vegetarian I substituted a 12-oz pkg of Trader Joe's frozen mushroom medley for the lamb. (If/when I make a full batch I would use two 12-oz pkgs.) Casserole makes a lot of dirty dishes but it tastes great. Only minor complaint was that the pasta on the bottom of the dish got a wee bit tough bordering on crunchy. I have a similar recipe that directs baking it at 375 for 40 minutes vs 400 so I will make a note and do that next time.

So good, easy to make, healthy, and very different from anything I've made before. Definitely a keeper.

I made the Moroccan Spiced Pastitsio with Lamb and Feta last evening, and it was a real hit. I felt that 1 pound of lamb wasn't going to be sufficient for 10 servings, so I doubled the lamb without changing the other proportions of the other ingredients. It was still marvelous. I couldn't find the ras el hanout in the stores near me, but made it from a recipe on the internet (http://www.food.com/recipe/ras-el-hanout-moroccan-spice-mix-262189) and it worked perfectly. Everyone at the table gave the dish a 2 thumbs up. I will definitely make it again and again.

Excellent. Time-consuming, but so, so worth it. Definite make-again!

I made my own ras-al-hanout from Mourad's New Morroccan cookbook. Toasting the spices filled my kitchen with that wonderful aroma! This pastitsio is very tasty, however, I think this dish is very heavy on the cumin. Ras-al-hanout already has toasted cumin seed and cinnamon in it. If I make this again, I'll amp up the ras-al-hanout and turn down the cumin and cinnamon. The cumin dominates the dish as prepared exactly per the recipe.

I thought the flavors here were just right. I used Greek yogurt instead of feta in the bechamel. The end result was cohesive without being a solid mass. I was using a low gluten pasta and the box had 13oz instead of the 1lb and the ratio was nice and meaty/saucy. Was too "spicy" for my 6 year old, but I think it was the gaminess of the lamb. Fantastic for everyone else!

The flavors were delicious. This is a very rich dish. The only change I would make is cutting the egg whites at least by half. The pasta was too stuck together. I might also use another 4-8 oz of pasta. That is to your personal preference. I enjoyed this and will make it again.

Extraordinary flavors, delicious all around. I didn't add the mint b/c I ran out but it came out fine without it. I will be making this many more times in future, and my future children shall call it 𧶭's Awesome Greek Lasagna'. I was able to buy some ras-el-hanout from a Lebanese grocer in Pittsburgh's Strip District, once we run out of that will make my own using the recipes other comments have left. The recipe is simple but, purely in terms of the number of pots on the stove, you will have a fair bit going on at the same time. Nothing a confident home cook can't manage, and I found the 40' baking time was perfect to clean up the kitchen.

Terrific and impressive casserole. The spices add an unexpected exotic flavor. The sauces can be made in advance. My favorite recipe for ras-el-hanout is http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/maindishes/r/ras_el_hanout_recipe.htm

This is a go-to recipe for me when entertaining a big group. It is wonderful. I follow the recipe with one exception - instead of ground lamb, I buy what my butcher labels lamb kebab, which I mince. It makes it a little more "company" worthy than ground lamb. This recipe has never let me down and is always a crowd pleaser. I thought that Pastitsio was like Shepherds Pie i.e. something to be concocted with leftovers. But, this is something really special.

Just ate a piece of this that had been in the freezer for a few months. Still o good. Made with ground chicken. I probably won't make this again because the kids didn't like it but I sure did!

This was fabulous! Followed recipe as written. A fairly big clean up, but really worth it. I made it a day ahead and reheated, covered, to serve company. Impressive and delicious.

p.s. Used the recipe for ras el hanout provided by another reviewer below.

Had to make a bunch of substitutions because of ingredient availability: 14 oz can diced tomatoes and small can of tomato puree (no tomato paste) ground turkey instead of lamb Asiago rather than parmesan. I had an opened container of crumbled feta -- maybe 5 oz rather than 6, so it's my fault that the sauces wasn't as cheesy as I would've liked. Wish Iɽ made 1/2 a recipe, though -- I thought this would fit in a souffle dish. That was just big enough for the 4 c penne and the meat sauce. Transferred to a 13x9x2 to be able to fit everything in and it was filled to the brim.

Loved this, as did the rest of the family. I halved it and there was enough for the three of us plus lots of leftovers. I was able to go from start to oven in an hour, so about 1 3/4 hours total. It's solid comfort food with just a little exotic edge from the ras el hanout. Highly recommended.

Excellent recipe. Will make again. Just be sure to leave enough time. NOT a quick meal to prepare and it left a mess in my kitchen, but well worth it!

This is a heart attack on a plate, but what a way to go! There are several recipes for ras-el-hanout on the web plus one on Epicurious that worked fine for me.

The recipe is less daunting than appears. I suggest you make your own ras-el-hanout (Google the recipe).

Comfort food. Heavy. Delicious. Fattening. If you're on a diet, this isn't the dish for you. However, my boyfriend and picky teenage boys loved it. I would definitely make it again with a little less cinnamon. Serve with a salad. I used the Ras-el-hanout recipe from one of the reviewers and it was great. It wasn't dry at all (use the juice from the canned tomatoes). Very delicious.

Excellent! Made with turkey instead of lamb. I also made it ahead and froze it, so it was a quick-fix dinner. Very tasty!

Recommend making your own ras-el- hanout better than storebought and easy. Lots of ingredients but all easy to find: 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg 2 teaspoons ground coriander 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons ground ginger 2 teaspoons turmeric 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon cardamom powder 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves Just mix them all together in a small bowl. And save the leftovers!

SO GOOD! Non-boring combos of ingredients, perfect blend of slightly exotic spices, really not tricky to make but one hour prep time? Took me two afternoons. Not complaining, just don't plan on whipping it up the afternoon of your party.


Moroccan-Spiced Lamb Meatloaf

A flavorful twist on conventional meatloaf, this version is made with ground lamb seasoned with Moroccan-inspired spices and served with a tangy, tomato-yogurt sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Moroccan-style spice blend (see below)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Moroccan-style spice blend:

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)

For the tomato dipping sauce:

  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Moroccan-style spice blend (see above)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and coat a small roasting pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Prepare the spice blend by thoroughly combining the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne in a small bowl.
  3. Add the ground lamb, egg, yogurt, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, salt, Moroccan spice blend and a few grinds of black pepper to a mixing bowl.
  4. Combine thoroughly and form the mixture into a small, rounded loaf (about 6 x 3-1/2 inches) and place it on the prepared roasting pan.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center of the meatloaf registers 150°F. Remove from the oven, tent loosely with foil and allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. While the meatloaf bakes, combine the tomato sauce, tomato paste, yogurt, garlic and Moroccan spice blend in a small saucepan. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and transfer the mixture to a small serving bowl.

Notes

Serving Suggestion:

Serve the meatloaf alongside couscous or steamed rice and a salad or green vegetable.


Preparation

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 300°F.

Mix all the spices, salt and pepper in a tray.

Cut three holes in the lamb with a small pairing night. In each hole place a bunch of thyme and a cinnamon stick. Repeat this process until it is complete.

Now generously rub the spice mixture over the leg of lamb.

Place a roasting over a high heat and add the olive oil. Next add in the celery, onion and carrots. Drizzle the honey over the vegetables to help the caramelization process.

Add the lamb on top of the vegetables and start searing the meat. Drizzle some olive oil over the lamb with salt and pepper.

Place the lamb in the oven, and cook for around one hour, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 135°F.

Once the lamb is cooked, take it out of the oven and allow the lamb to rest for 10-15 minutes.

To make the vinaigrette, mix together the lime, olive oil and mustard.

When you are ready, slice the lamb and serve immediately and drizzle the vinaigrette on top. Also reserve the lamb juice and the roasted vegetables and serve along side.


Start Cooking

Prepare the Lamb

In a small bowl, combine the coriander with the cumin, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and one teaspoon of black pepper. Set aside three tablespoons of the spice mixture for the date barbecue sauce.

Stir one teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of the olive oil into the remaining spice mixture.

Using a small, sharp knife, make 1/2-inch-deep slits all over the lamb. Press the garlic slices into the slits. Coat the lamb with the spiced oil, making sure to rub it in the slits. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six hours.

In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the onion and minced garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the reserved three tablespoons of the spice mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about four minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for one minute.

Add the beef broth, honey, saffron water and cayenne pepper and simmer over high heat until the sauce is slightly thickened, about eight minutes.

Add the minced dates and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they break down and the sauce is thick and glossy, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and season the sauce with salt and black pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup of the date barbecue sauce for glazing the lamb.

Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and lightly season with salt and black pepper.

Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until the lamb is nicely charred all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg registers 135 degrees Fahrenheit, about 15 minutes per side. During the last three minutes of grilling, brush the reserved 1/2 cup of date barbecue sauce all over the lamb.

Transfer the grilled lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, toss the olives with the mint and cilantro.

Slice the lamb across the grain and serve with the date barbecue sauce and olive relish.

To prepare in advance, the date barbecue sauce can be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to three days.


The Best Moroccan Side Dishes to Try

These side dishes go with Moroccan lamb tagines, beef tagines, chicken tagines, or any vegetable tagine. You can also serve them as a main dish if made in a large-sized serving.

Here is the list of my favorite and most requested Moroccan side dishes recipes. They are easy to make and every bite will taste like being on vacation in Morocco.

Moroccan Carrot Salad

This is one of my favorite Moroccan side dishes to make. It takes less than 30 minutes total and it’s full of flavors and vitamins. I make it all the time when I am having guests and I always get tons of compliments.

The aromatics combined with the carrots give a delicious fresh citrusy flavor. This carrot salad is great hot, tepid, or cold. Serve it with fresh bread or as an appetizer.

Here is my mother’s carrot salad recipe.

Moroccan Marinated Olives

Moroccan marinated olives are a blessing. Every Moroccan kitchen has jars and jars of homemade marinated olives ready to use. We use them as a side dish, as appetizers or to decorate tagine dishes.

Making them is as easy as mixing your olives with spices and aromatics and filling your jars. They make a thoughtful gift too. A must.

Here is my mother’s marinated olives recipe.

Moroccan Pepper Salad

There are different ways to make Moroccan pepper salad. The traditional way starts by roasting the peppers and tomatoes on a grill or in the oven to add a delicious roast flavor.

This pepper salad is delicious cold or tepid. Eat it with fresh bread or as a tapas, or add it to your sandwiches and salads. It tastes amazing.

Here is my mother’s Moroccan pepper salad recipe.

Moroccan Orange Salad

This is a sweet alternative to Moroccan side dishes which you can also serve as a dessert.

Here is my mother’s orange salad recipe.

This orange salad is probably the easiest dessert you can make. The secret ingredient is orange blossom water which makes every ingredient stand out. This orange salad recipe requires a few ingredients and you can make it in less than 5 minutes.

If you want to explore Moroccan cuisine to its fullest, here are the Moroccan cookbooks that I always recommend to my friends.


Ingredients

  • 700g stewing lamb
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3tsp harissa paste
  • Ground cumin and coriander
  • 150g dried apricots, chopped
  • 200ml hot lamb stock
  • 560g bottle passata
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 290g jar roasted peppers in brine, drained and chopped
  • 4 large strips of lemon zest
  • Handful parsley, chopped
  • Cashews
  • Couscous

Moroccan-spiced Lamb Stuffed Peppers

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions while you are preparing the rest of the dish.

Heat a large pan to medium-high heat and preheat the oven to 425 F.

Split the green peppers in half and remove the seeds and stems. Place the 4 pepper halves face down on a baking sheet or roasting pan and bake them in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove peppers from oven and set aside.

Add the olive oil and lamb to the preheated pan and brown for 10 minutes, breaking it up with a spoon as you go and letting it get nice and crusty.

Add the raisins, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and a dash of crushed red pepper and salt to the lamb. Stir, inhale, sigh. Keep it warm if the quinoa isn’t done yet.

Into the lamb/spice mixture, add the quinoa, mint, tomatoes, pine nuts, and most of the feta cheese (keep a little for garnish). Heat over medium heat, stirring together as you go. Taste the filling for seasoning—I almost always add more cinnamon and salt.

Fill the pepper halves with heaps of quinoa/lamb filling. Crumble the remaining feta on top of the peppers and broil on high heat for 3-5 minutes until the cheese is browned.

Serve with tzatziki sauce or Greek yogurt and extra mint, if you’d like.

Make-ahead: Make the peppers and filling up to 2 days in advance and store them covered in the fridge. To reheat, sprinkle with extra feta and bake for 20 minutes at 350 F, then broil for 5 minutes.


How to Make It

Make sauce: In a small bowl, stir yogurt with lemon zest, mint, olive oil, salt, and garlic. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Make meatballs: In a large bowl, combine ginger, garlic, ras el hanout, salt, and pepper. Add lamb and beef and gently mix just until seasonings are distributed.

In your palms, gently roll meat to form 1 1/2-in. balls set on a rimmed baking pan.

Preheat oven to 200°, line another rimmed baking pan with paper towels, and put it and a heatproof serving bowl in the oven to keep warm. Heat a 12-in. frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Brown meatballs in 2 batches on all sides, turning as needed, 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer meatballs to the paper towel–lined pan.

Transfer meatballs to the warm serving bowl, garnish with mint sprigs, and serve with yogurt sauce.

*Buy at well-stocked supermarkets.

Make ahead: Shape, wrap, and chill meatballs up to 1 day (their texture will be a little softer than if just made).


Watch the video: Moroccan Spiced Lamb (October 2021).