This Moroccan Lamb (Mechoui) is traditionally prepared using spices and roasting a whole leg of lamb on a rotisserie spit over a fire until the meat is tender enough to pull off the bone.
I first mentioned this recipe over two years ago, but having just cooked it again recently, I decided that I’d spread the good news about how special this dish really is. Wow! Apart from the amazing taste from the spices and garlic that had been rubbed and forced into the meat, it nearly fell off the bone after several hours of slow cooking over a moderate heat.
I cooked under a gazebo as there had been some showers, but nothing could dampen the smell of this joint cooking on the rotisserie.
Ingredients: (Serves up to 10)
1 whole leg of lamb (or shoulder) on the bone
4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric or pinch of Moroccan yellow colorant
1 tablespoon olive oil
Trim any excess fat from the lamb and make a dozen or more cuts deep into the meat with the tip of a sharp knife.
Soften the butter and then combine it with the garlic, spices and olive oil. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. Spread the mixture over the entire leg of lamb, working some mixture into the incisions made with the knife. Put the lamb onto your rotisserie skewer and secure it with meat forks. Make sure that the joint is perfectly balanced. (If you are using a leg of lamb, this may take more than one attempt – be patient, it is worth it- and essential!).
Cooking: (5 hours +)
Prepare your BBQ and make sure that the coals are light grey before you start to cook.
With this dish the slower you cook the better, but ensure that you cook for at least 5 hours.
Place the skewer onto your rotisserie and set the height low for the first 5 to 10 minutes in order to seal the meat. Do not let the skin burn. Just when the skin begins to brown, raise the cooking height to its maximum. Leave the meat to cook for 1 hour; then add a little charcoal to maintain heat. Mix the new coal with the grey ash. Never allow the coals to generate too much heat or get too cool. This dish is a slow roast over moderate heat, so regular top ups with charcoal are required.
At the end of cooking, the lamb should be very tender. Transfer the lamb to a platter, cover with foil and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before serving.
As this dish is from Morocco, serve with couscous and our spinach and orange salad.
To download a copy of this recipe to print, please click: Moroccan Lamb