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Slow-cook Moroccan Lamb

Posted on October 27, 2014

A few years ago I went to Morocco on holiday and pretty much fell in love with the heat, noise and food of the place straight away. After spending a few days in Marrakech we stayed in a rhiad about an hour out of the city, overlooked by the Atlas mountains, where dinner was served every night at 7pm. There was no menu or special requirements, just a ‘are you joining us for dinner tonight?’ (to which the answer was *always* yes) and a place was laid for you.

In a bid to recreate the magic of this place even just a little bit I love cooking Moroccan dishes at home. One of my favourites is a slow cooked lamb shoulder, served shredded in a flatbread, gyros style (I know, gryos kebabs are Greek but that reminds me of another amazing holiday I had so just go with the flow on this one!).

For the slow cooked lamb you’ll need

Shoulder of lamb (depending on how many you’re catering for will depend on the size you need. I cooked a whole shoulder and the marinade works for that but don’t get too bogged down in the measurements, just go with what feels right and you’ll end up with something delicious)

3 cloves of garlic (crushed)

3 teaspoons ras el hanout

3 teaspoons pomegranate syrup

25g butter (softened)

To serve:

2 pomegranates


Mix your crushed garlic, ras el hanout, pomegranate syrup and butter together to form a paste. Rub this all over your lamb shoulder making sure to get it all covered.

Place the lamb in a roasting tin, add about 1cm of water into the bottom of the pan and cover with foil. Place into a preheated oven at 180C for about 3 hours and forget about it. Find somewhere warm to sit and drink freshly made mint tea with the sun on your face.

After 3 hours take the foil off and place back in the oven for another 30-45 minutes. Make sure you rest your meat well once it’s cooked.

Serve this lamb shredded with the seeds of two pomegranates, a handful of chopped mint and some pomegranate syrup scattered over it.

In an ideal world you’d have a stack of warmed flatbreads ready to wrap around the lamb along with some sides of finely sliced carrots, Greek yoghurt and harissa paste.