Slow roasted lamb with Moroccan couscousChef's Skillet Thursday, June 9th, 2011
For the lamb
2 boneless lamb loins (preferably domestic) tied with butchers twine
6 teaspoons fresh peeled garlic finely chopped
6 teaspoons fresh peeled shallots chopped
2 tablespoons toasted cumin seeds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks fresh rosemary rough chopped
3 stalks fresh thyme de-stemmed and rough chopped
1 pepper mill with tellicherry peppercorns
Mix the oil, garlic, shallots, cumin, rosemary and thyme with the oil. Place the lamb loin in a glass baking dish and pour the marinade over the lamb. Grind some fresh black pepper to lightly coat the loin.
Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate for four to 24 hours.
(Chefs tip: Never use salt in a marinade for red meat, as it leeches out the moisture and makes the protein tough.)
Cooking the lamb: Remove the lamb from the marinade and ensure that all the herbs, garlic and seasoning are removed, as they will burn in the pan.
Preheat an oven to 250 degrees.
Heat a thick bottomed frying pan to medium high heat; sear the lamb on all sides until golden brown. Roast the lamb loin in the 250 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 125 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
Slice the lamb and arrange on a plate with the couscous and sausages. A lamb jus or yoghurt sauce can be made for this dish.
For the couscous
3 cups Moroccan style couscous
3-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 teaspoons finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons toasted marcona almonds
1 tablespoon golden raisins and dried red currants mixed
2 links of grilled merguez (spicy lamb sausage) cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Place the couscous in a metal mixing bowl and add the raisins and currants. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Pour the hot stock over the couscous and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow enough time for all the stock to absorb into the grains; this usually takes around five minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and using a fork loosen up the grains until the couscous is fluffy. Warm up the grilled merguez and mix in along with the almonds.
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