Mechoui-inspired shoulder of lamb w/ harissa yoghurt
Taking inspiration from the Moroccan dish, Mechoui Lamb, where a whole lamb is rubbed with spices and cooked in a pit, we’ve been developing this recipe for our grazing tables and wedding banquets, now written up here for the home cook!
We replicate the woody, smokey flavours of the pit by griddling (or roasting) the cooked pieces of shoulder in the retained lamb fat before smothering in the reduced braising liquor.
This recipe needs to be done over 2 days for best results, so do plan ahead.
Serves: 8 - 10
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: Up to 6 hours
For the lamb
1 shoulder of lamb, bone in (or a half shoulder if you're cooking for a small group)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
a large thumb sized piece ginger, finely grated
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 bottle of white wine
For the harissa yoghurt
500g greek yoghurt
2 tbsp rose harissa
Salt & pepper
Optional garnishes Pickled pink onions - Pickle some fine slices of red onion in a basil vinegar/sugar/salt pickle for at least 4 hours until they turn bright pink
Roughly chopped mint & parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 190c
Make some slashes into the lamb shoulder. Mix together the garlic, ginger and spices then rub into the shoulder meat.
Place the onions and carrots in a large roasting tin then top with the lamb shoulder.
Pour in the white wine and top up with another 500ml of water.
Cover the whole tin tightly with foil then place in the oven at 190c for 20 minutes, before turning the oven down to 160c for another 4 - 6 hours, until the meat is falling off the bone and very tender.
Take the lamb from the roasting tin, allow it to cool slightly, then pull it into largish pieces, not super small as if you were pulling pork. Remove any unrendred skin or connective tissues at this point. Pop the lamb in the fridge once it’s cool.
Strain the braising liquid into a container, allow to cool then place in the fridge overnight. This is to seperate the fat and the juices.
Make the harissa yoghurt by mixing the yoghurt and harissa together.
Scoop the fat off the top of the juices, place in a pan and melt gently.
Places the juices in another saucepan and reduce in volume till thick and shiny. Check and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
Griddle method. Heat some lamb fat on a griddle, BBQ hot plate or in a frying pan over a high heat. Sear the lamb in batches so you get lovely caramelised areas. Turn the heat down and cover with a lid or upturned roasting tin to make sure the lamb is heated through completely.
Roast method. Heat the oven to 210c. Brush some lamb fat over the pieces of lamb and roast high until the edges are charred slightly. Make sure the lamb pieces are hot to the centre.
Plate up the lamb pieces, pour over the reduced braising liquor and top with harissa yoghurt and, if using, pink pickled onions, pomegranate seeds, parsley and mint.
ENJOY! GJ x