‘Eid Mubarak! (Blessed ‘Eid!) to everyone who celebrates, and for those who don’t it just means that the blessed month of Ramadan is over and so is our daily fasting.
It shouldn’t go without mentioning that out of love and respect for the poor, hungry and deprived of the world, we Muslims who are fortunate enough to fill our bellies should now sincerely understand the involuntary pangs of hunger for millions of those around the world. Alhamdullilah (Praise be to God) that our religion commands us to feed those in need at the end of Ramadan, before the ‘Eid prayer, so that others will not go without food. Insha’allah, I pray that no one ever goes hunger and that the fortunate among us will always be offering a share of our blessings at the table and beyond. So please, if you make this dish, share it with someone you love, someone in need, someone hungry. For that, insha’allah Allah will bless you greatly….
Moroccan Stuffed Leg of Lamb
This is for my dear friend Meghan, who asked for a recipe specifically for leg of lamb. I think this is a great recipe because of the north african flavors which add just a little bit of sweetness to the meat. I can’t take credit for the recipe, though. It comes from one of my favorite books: “Moroccon Cooking: Fragrantly Spiced North African Cuisine” by Rebekah Hassan.
- 1.5 kg/3-3½ lb. leg of lamb, boned
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 40g/1 ½ oz/3 Tb. butter
- 175ml/6fl oz/ ¾ cup chicken stock (water will be a fine substitute, so don’t stress if you don’t have chicken, beef or veal stock)
- 15 ml/1 Tb. corn flour
- 15ml/1 TB. apricot jam
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Stuffing
1 green chlli, seeded
2 shallots or white onions
1 garlic clove
1 bunch fresh coriander
sprig of fresh parsley
25g/1 oz/2 TB. butter
10ml/2 tsp. ground cumin
2.5ml/½ tsp. ground cinnamon
150g/5oz/¾ cup cooked long grain rice
30ml/2 TB. pine nuts
- Preheat the oven to 200° C/400°F and then make the stuffing. Place the seeded chili, whole shallots, garlic clove, coriander and parsley in a food processor and process until very finely chopped.
- Melt the butter in a small frying pan and fry the shallot and herb mixture for 2-3 minutes over a gentle heat to soften the shallots. Add the cumin and cinnamon and stir well.
- Place the cooked rice in a bowl, add the pine nuts and then stir in the contents of the pan. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper and rub the outside with the crushed garlic and butter. Place the meat, skin side down, on a work surface and spread the stuffing evenly over it. Roll the meat up, secure with a skewer and then tie with cooking string at even intervals.
- Place in a roasting pan and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C/350°F and continue to roast for 1 ½ – 2 hours, basting occasionally with the juices from the tin.
- To make the sauce, pour away the excess fat from the roasting pan and then add the chicken stock. Heat gently, stirring all the time, to deglaze the pan. Blend the corn flour with 30ml/2 TB. water and add to the roasting tin with the apricot jam. Gradually bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Strain the sauce in a gravy server and serve with the stuffed lamb.
Bismillah and Bon Appetit!
Special Note: Thanks, Meghan, for requesting this recipe. I wouldn’t have thought to choose this particular dish, but because you asked now everyone can enjoy the recipe, insha’allah!