Marrakech lamb with tahini squash gratin

recipe image

Ingredients

  • 1.6-1.8kg boned shoulder of lamb (ask the butcher to do this for you)
  • 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  • small bunch parsley, chopped
  • small bunch mint, chopped, plus a few whole mint leaves to serve
  • 85g pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 60g pack dried sour cherries
  • 2 small preserved lemons, rind only, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • Saffron yogurt, to serve (see tip for recipe)

For the gratin

  • 1 large butternut squash, or 2-3 smaller seasonal squashes like acorn or onion
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 100ml double cream
  • 300ml chicken or lamb stock

Method

  • STEP 1

    Remove the lamb from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare the stuffing. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry for 8-10 mins until starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 1 min more, then scoop out into a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, herbs, pistachios, feta, cherries, lemon and tahini. Season and mix everything together. Unroll the lamb and season well on both sides. Pack the stuffing down the centre of the lamb, pressing to help it stick, then re-roll and tie up with kitchen string (see tip, below left). Flip the lamb over so it is seam-side down, and pack any stuffing that has fallen out back in. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  • STEP 2

    Now assemble the gratin. Slice the squash in half to separate the thinner top half and the bulbous bottom half. Peel both pieces with either a sturdy peeler or a sharp knife. Cut down the centre of the thinner piece, then slice very thinly into half moons. Halve the bottom piece and scoop out the seeds, then thinly slice this too. Whisk the tahini, cream and stock in a jug with some seasoning. Arrange the sliced squash in a shallow ovenproof baking dish, approximately 22 x 30cm, seasoning well between the layers. Finish with a layer of neatly lined-up half moon slices. Pour over the tahini stock.

  • STEP 3

    Place the lamb on top of the gratin, seam-side down, and rub with the remaining oil. Place in the centre of the oven and roast for 1 hr 20 mins for slightly pink lamb. Lift the lamb off the gratin and transfer to a plate, covered with foil to keep warm, and leave to rest. 4 While the lamb rests, increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Spoon any excess fat off the top of the gratin, then return to the oven for 20 mins until golden and crisp. Place the lamb back on top of the gratin to serve, scattered with mint leaves and a pot of Saffron yogurt (see tip, below left) on the side.

RECIPE TIPS
TYING THE LAMB

The easiest way to secure a rolled piece of meat is by tying loops of kitchen string around the stuffed joint – ask someone to hold the meat together while you tie the string, pulling it tight enough to hold the filling in, but not so tight that it cuts into the meat.

SAFFRON YOGURT

Put 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp golden caster sugar, 2 good pinches of saffron and 1 tbsp water in a small pan and heat gently until simmering, swirling to help dissolve the sugar. Bubble until reduced to about 1 tbsp of liquid, then set aside to cool. Mix 150ml thick Greek yogurt and the cooled saffron vinegar together in a bowl, then chill until ready to use. 

Per serving: 37 cals, protein 1g, carbs 2g, fat 3g, sat fat 3g, fibre 0g, sugar 2g, salt 0g.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2014

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