Steamed North African Leg of Lamb with Fruit Cous Cous

Leg of lamb steamed in Moroccan spices is simple and delicious. The water that you have used for steaming the lamb is used afterwards for the cous cous.

Wine Recommendation: a Syrah based wine will always offset the spices of this dish - try a Corbieres. See The Mixed Case for details.

Steamed North African Leg of Lamb with Fruit Cous Cous

Portions: 6-8 Portions

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 60-90 minutes

Ingredients

Lamb

  • 1.5-2kg leg of lamb

Spice Rub

  • 100g butter (soft) or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves. finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp coriander. finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
  • juice and zest o half a lemon
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme

To Cook

  • handful each of corriander and mint leaves
  • 100-120g dried apricots

Spicy Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tbps olive oil
  • 200g canned plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped (I like to use haribiro chillies while extremely hot they have a very rounded flavour)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbps caster sugar
  • 50ml cooking liquid

Couscous

  • 300g couscous
  • 500-600ml cooking liquid
  • 60g sultanas
  • 2 tbp mint, shredded
  • 2 tbp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbps corriander, finely chopped
  • Pinch maldon salt

Method

  1. Lamb: Wash and dry the lamb and cut 3-4 deep slashes into the skin (serving side).
  2. Spice Rub: Mix all the ingredients together in a container. Rub the mixture into the lamb pressing it deep into the cuts.
  3. To Cook: Fill the bottom of a large steamer with water so it comes half wayto the top, cover it and bring to the boil. place greaseproof paper in the top half of a steamer and lace the corriander and mint leavs on it and sprinkle the apricots around herbs. Place the lamb in the steamer, cover it and leave for 60-90 minutes over a steady low simmer. The amount of time you cook it depends on how well you like it to cooked and the size of the leg. When the meat is ready remove it from the heat. in the top half of the steamer and place it on a chopping board, remove the apricots and replace the lid (to keep warm) and set aside while you prepare the cous cous.
  4. Sauce: Place the oil in a suacepan over a moderate to high heat. When it is hot add the onions and sweat them for 2 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, and cumin powder and cook fo about 30 secons. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, and cooking liquid and leave it to simmer for 10 minutes, until you have a thick sauce.
  5. Couscous: Place the cous cous in a large bowl and pour over 500ml of the boiling cooking liquid and cover the bowl with cling film and leave ti to steam for 10 minutes. Test the couscous it should be tender but if not add a little more stock and recover. Rougly chop the apricots, sultanas, cashew nuts, sultanas, herbs and seasoning, toss the cous cous so that the ingredients are well distributed. Set aside while you slice the lamb
  6. To Serve: Slice the lamb into even slices. Place the lamb on 1 side of each plate so that they overlap. Portion outhte couscous among the plates, I use a darimole mould or ramekin. pour a little of the sauce on each plate and serve.