Eid is fast approaching and you may soon have a lot of lamb left over - so it is time to make M'rouzia. A good M'rouzia has a perfect balance of spiciness and sweetness and is a stunning way to present shoulder neck or shank of lamb. For those who happen to have goat meat, the recipe worked just as well. The key ingredients are Moroccan Ras El Hanout spice mix and saffron.
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There are a couple of ways to prepare M'rouzia. The traditional method is to simmer for two hours, however, using a pressure cooker halves that time without altering the flavour at all.
The recipe below is suitable for six servings. Total cooking time using the traditional method (including preparation) is two hours and forty-five minutes.
1 You need 1/2 kg of lamb cut into 7 centimetre(3 inch) pieces
2 medium sized onions, finely grated
3 cloves of garlic, pressed and finely chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons Ras El Hanout
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of crumbled saffron threads
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup blanched almonds
Before preparing the meat and spices, soak the raisins in water and set aside.
Mix the meat, onions, garlic and spices and place in pot or pressure cooker. Add the butter and cook (covered) over a medium heat for between ten and fifteen minutes. Stir from time to time.
If you are using a heavy-based pot rather than a pressure cooker, add the 3 cups of water, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
Next, add the honey, cinnamon raisins and almonds. Replace the lid on the pot and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the raisins are plump and the sauce is reduced to a syrupy consistency.
If you are using a pressure cooker - add the 3 cups of water, cover, and cook with pressure for about 40 minutes, before adding the raisins, honey, cinnamon and almonds.
Arrange the meat in centre of a serving dish, and distribute the raisins, almonds and sauce over the meat. Or alternatively, fried almonds can be used as a garnish.
Mechoui-style Roasted Lamb Spareribs
3 slabs of lamb spareribs
4 tablespoons soft butter or for a more authentic taste use smen
4 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
2 or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
Preheat an oven to 160° C (325° F).
Combine the butter or smen with the garlic, coriander and spices. Make a number of cuts in the slabs of spareribs, and spread the butter mixture over the surface of the meat, rubbing well into the cuts.
Place the ribs in a large roasting pan. Cover the pan with a foil tent, sealing the foil tightly to the pan, and roast in the oven for about three hours. Occasionally baste the ribs with the juices. Make sure you reseal the tinfoil every time!
After three hours take off the tinfoil and increase the oven temperature to 220° C (425° F). If you decide to sweeten the dish with honey, now is the time to spread it over the meat.
Roast the spareribs uncovered, for another fifteen minutes and baste a couple of times until the ribs are nicely browned.
Serve with side-dishes of of salt and cumin on the side for dipping.
See all our Moroccan recipes here