Day 2 sees Slow Cooked Lamb
Day 2 of 2018 World Cup saw Morocco lose a very close match – maybe a little bit of a harsh result for them. This Lamb Mechoui uses the Weber Smokey Mountain, to cook the lamb slowly infusing the already marinated meat with some gorgeous smokiness.
In Morocco, Mechoui means “refers to the method of cooking a lamb or a sheep cooked whole on the spit”, and is a very traditional Berber dish. Lamb is the most common animal used for Mechoui, although the term can be used for other animals and even vegetables.
The prepared lamb is not placed directly above the embers, for the melting fat could ignite and char the outer flesh. The cooking is started gently so that the interior cooks almost at the same time as the outside. Traditionally during cooking, the meat is brushed with melted butter or oil, to make it crispy. Gradually, the lamb is brought close to the hot embers, so that the flesh takes on an amber color. I slow cooked this and added lots of alder wood chunks to try to get a nice color on the outside of the lamb.
This was a fairly small shoulder that was marinated in the various spices the night before and then cooked at 235°F for 6 hours until the internal temperature reached 203°F. I did cover after 4 hours by placing the lamb in a foil tray with some red wine and tightly covered the tray with foil.
To serve I had some sourdough pittas, with a carrot and orange salad on the side (courtesy of Jamie Oliver), together with some Za’atar Rice. Everything was absolutely delicious!
So simple but so good!
For this cook, it is a simple case of combing the ingredients for the marinade and then allow them to infuse the meat overnight. Then it’s a case of popping on the smoker and letting the smoke do it’s work until the meat reaches the needed temperature. It’s amazing that something so simple can taste so good!
Moroccan Lamb Mechoui
- Prep Time20 min
- Cook Time6 hr
- Total Time6 hr 20 min
For the Lamb Mechoui
- 3 Garlic Cloves crushed
- 30g butter
- 2 tsp Ras-el-Hanout
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 800g Shoulder of Lamb
- A handful of Chopped flat-leaf Parsley
- A handful Chopped Mint Leaves
- 50g feta cheese
- 50g pomegranate seeds
Orange and Carrot Salad
- 4 small Carrots, peeled
- ½ orange, juiced
- Ring from the orange
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- A small bunch of fresh Mint, leaves picked, larger leaves torn
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Make deep slits in the lamb and then rub the marinade all over the lamb. Cover and then place in the fridge overnight.
Prepare your smoker and bring it up to 235°F. Just before you want to start cooking add some Alder wood chunks.
I was in two minds whether to wrap but after around 4 hours I placed the lamb into a foil tray and covered with tin foil. It then took about another hour for it to get to 203°F.
OPTIONAL: Remove from the smoker and wrap tightly in foil. Place in a cool box until you are ready to pull the lamb.
Whilst the lamb is resting, make the salad. Using a speed peeler or mandolin, or the grater or julienne cutter of your food processor if you’ve got one, shred your carrots as finely as possible into a bowl. Dress them with the orange juice, the olive oil, the red wine vinegar, mint leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper, then toss well together.
Pull the lamb, and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and some feta cheese. Serve with the salad, pitta and Za’atar Rice.