Still reminiscing about our recent trip to England, we miss the fresh lamb we could get from the local butcher. It is so easy to find there and back home…not so much. When we do come across it we tend to get carried away. This is a great family dish that we make in our crock pot (slow cooker). It is based on a classic Moroccan roasted lamb (Mechoui) but, as it is cooked covered in the slow cooker, our dish is not that far away from a tagine. It is quick and simple to prepare then just leave it in the pot while you are at work and you will come home not only to a beautiful dinner but your kitchen will smell of somewhere a little exotic.
Key to this recipe is the Moroccan spice mix Ras el hanout. We brought some back from vacation, but if you can’t find any ready made then you can make your own. (As a side note in Morocco every vendor and spice shop have their own family recipe for Ras El Hanout)
If you wish to make your own have a look at this previous blog: Ras el Hanout recipe
Take a leg of lamb (ours was deboned boned but bone it works really well too). Let the lamb air dry on a wire rack in your refrigerator for a few hours. With a sharp knife score the lamb leg over the top fat layer. Then liberally cover with the Ras el Hanout, plenty of fresh black pepper and kosher salt. Return to the refrigerator for at least and hour.
Heat a skillet / frying pan and add a good glug of extra virgin olive oil. Sear the lamb on all sides until you have a good brown crust then place into your crock pot with a 1/4 cup of water, some apricot halves and a smashed clove of garlic. Then simply cover and leave to cook for at least 6 hours.
About 10 minutes before serving make some cous cous and chop a few fresh herbs. Add some additional apricot halves to the lamb – you want them just cooked or they have a tendency to fall apart.
Remove the lamb to a chopping board and either slice or pull apart with two forks …..it is so deliciously tender that you will need to refrain from eating it all there and then.
We served the dish family style with some diced cumber and mixed mint leaves into the cous cous with a few local radish that we had purchased that day from The Kitchen Garden at the Farmers’ Market at Forest Park.
The dish was great warm, but also made the most incredible cold salad for lunch the following day.