A delicious winter dish full of the exotic flavours of the Moroccan souks that will fill your kitchen with wonderful aromas and put happy smiles on the faces of your fellow diners.
Although it is extremely tasty when just cooked, however, prepare it the day in advance to let the flavours develop and penetrate deeper into the lamb.
To feed 8 people you need:
1.2 kg of lamb shoulder deboned
50 ml olive oil
1 big brown onion cubed
5 garlic cloves peeled and lightly flattened
1 small red chili deseeded
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sumac
3 star anise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp coriander chopped
3 tbsp almond flakes for extra crunch
3 tbsp pomegranate seeds (optional)
Cut the meat into similar sized cubes around 6cm each. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan on medium-high heat (I use one that I brought with me from
years ago) and fry onions until they turn dark brown but make sure you don’t
burn them. The dark colour is vital
because that’s what gives the whole dish a dark rich brown colour.
While the onions are cooking, warm up a small frying pan and gently fry coriander and fennel seeds for about 5 minutes until they release their flavours, then grind in a pestle and mortar and add to the onions together with all other spices and mix well.
Once the onions are dark, add the meat, stir and let it release the juices, turning over as it gets darker. Once all the liquid is evaporated, reduce the heat and add about half a cup of water and cover with the lid but place it slightly askew to let the steam out. It will help to brown the meat and thicken the sauce. After cooking it for about 20 minutes, check the seasoning and adjust to your taste. It is very important to get the taste right while the meat is still cooking. Make sure that the sauce is salty enough for meat to absorb. When the meat is almost cooked, throw in the garlic
After cooking it for about 20 minutes, check the seasoning and adjust to your taste. It is very important to get the taste right while the meat is still cooking. Make sure that the sauce is salty enough for meat to absorb. When the meat is almost cooked, throw in the garlic.
Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and topping up with some water, leaving small tips of meat uncovered. Continue cooking until the meat becomes very soft and quite dark.
When the meat is cooked and you are ready to serve, ladle it on an attractive looking big plate or a bowl (think about presentation) and place in the middle of a table for everyone to share. To add some nice crunch and texture to the dish, sprinkle over with freshly chopped coriander, lightly toasted almond flakes and pink jewels of pomegranate.
This dish is traditionally served with fluffy couscous but a creamy mash potatoes or your favourite pasta work equally well with the meat.
I also like to serve it with a Spicy Carrot Salad that beautifully complements the flavours of the main dish.