Tuesday 19 August 2014

A Moroccan feast!

A new survey carried out by ICE (International Currency Exchange) found that the majority of people choose their holiday destination based on the food available to them whilst they are there. They challenged me to recreate a recipe from somewhere I have either visited or would love to visit. When thinking about purely the food option, one place popped into my head. Morocco. 

I have always wanted to go to Morocco but purely just for the food. It's really my type of cuisine with dips and breads and sides, as well as a lot of flavour. I set about searching for some Moroccan recipes and came across Jamie's Moroccan lamb and knew it would be a winner. 

I got my ingredients and equipment ready and set off. I was a little scared as I have never done a 'big' meal like this before, with so many sides and garnishes but Warren and I both actually agreed this was the best meal I have ever cooked! 

Moroccan Lamb
(adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe)

A rack of lamb (3-4 chops per person), fat removed,
1 whole nutmeg, for grating,
1 tsp ground cumin,
1 tsp paprika, plus extra for dusting,
1 tsp dried thyme, 
1 lemon,

200g couscous,
1 tsp dried chilli flakes,
a large bunch of fresh mint,
1 lemon,

1 pack of plain Naan breads/flat breads,
1 tbsp dried thyme,
1 tub of natural yogurt,
1 tub of houmous,
1/2 lemon, 

olive oil
sea salt & black pepper

small jar of whole grilled peppers
a slice of cheese for each pepper, depending how many you use

ice cubes,
a few sprigs of fresh mint,
1/2 a lemon,
1 pomegranate,
1 bottle of sparkling water


Fill and boil the kettle. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat. Put a roasting tray in the oven and put the oven on 220 degrees/425 farenheit or gas 7.

Depending how big your rack of lamb is, cut it down into more manageable sizes and score the surface in a criss cross motion. Season with 1/2 the nutmeg, cumin, paprika and thyme. Massage into the meat and then place them into the hot frying pan with a bit of olive oil. Brown the meat on all sides for about 5 minutes. 

While the lamb in browning, tip the couscous into a large bowl, sprinkle with olive oil and cover with boiling water. Season with a pinch of salt then cover and set aside.

Check the lamb, Once brown on all sides, transfer to the roasting tin and put in the oven, bones facing up. Timings can vary, 14 mins for a nice blush, longer for well done or less for rare, it's up to you but set your timer. Remember to turn half way through. Rinse out the lamb pan and put on a low heat.  

Get all your peppers out the jar and put a slice of cheese in each pepper. 

Remember to turn your lamb half way through!! Add a good pinch of salt and put them back in the oven for the remaining time.

Fluff your couscous up with a fork, add the chilli flakes, a drizzle of olive oil, finely chopped mint and the juice of a lemon. Season with salt & pepper until you're happy with the flavour then it's done, take it to the table.

Put the yogurt in the bowl and sprinkle with paprika, put that on the table. Spoon the houmous onto a plate, make a well in the middle and pour in some olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, the squeeze of 1/2 lemon and paprika. Take to the table. 

Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the pan on a low heat and then pop the peppers in. They only take 2 minutes, just until the cheese has melted, then turn the heat off and set aside.

Sprinkle the flatbreads with water and then pop them into the oven for a few minutes. 

When the lamb is done, take them out to rest for a few minutes.

Get a big jug and half fill with ice cubes. Add a few springs of mint and juice of 1/2 lemon. Place a sieve over the jug, halve the pomegranate and really, really squeeze the juice out into the jug. Chuck the remainders away and top up the rest with the sparkling water. Give a good stir and you're done! 

Take everything to the table, serve and enjoy.

It looks like a lot of steps and ingredients but honestly, it was so quick and easy to follow. I'm really impressed with how it turned out and will definitely be making this again! No need to go to Morocco now hey! ;)

Where would you love to go purely for the food?  

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