Moroccan “Mechoui” Lamb

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Every once in a while you come across a recipe that just sends you into the gastronomic equivalent of an orgasm, a “foodgasm” if you will. Hold on to your chairs because this is the one! Introducing a MUST DO recipe for anyone with a charcoal grill….Mechoui Lamb, a popular Moroccan style of BBQ Lamb!

Now I meant to cook this for our dear friends Naomi and Mo but alas, the two happy wanderers along with their gorgeous little one Jasime are on their way back to the other side of the world to start a new chapter of their lives! Good luck you three and Mo, this is what you missed buddy! I’m dedicating this post to you guys…we’ll miss ya!

OK, what you’ll need to do is start with a boneless leg of lamb. They normally come all packaged up and trussed together in a net. Get rid of it. You’re going to butterfly this leg of lamb and you’ll not regret it. Simply remove the netting and rise your lamb leg under cold water. Then pat it dry and butterfly it. It’s not quite butterflied when you unravel it, so simply take a very sharp knife and cut the lamb so that it ends up a consistent flat piece. Mine in fact made two portions (one for later!!!) Now grab your trusty meat tenderiser and give both sides of the lamb a good whacking! You want to end up with a consistent thickness throughout. (Check out the photos below for the exact look…)

Once butterflied, apply a small amount of olive oil and then liberally season the lamb on both sides with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Now you can set aside the lamb, or as I did, put it back in the fridge. Now it’s time to make the most delicious spiced herb butter!

For the spiced herb butter you’ll need:

  • 125 g of butter (I used unsalted and at room temperature)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 16 fresh mint leaves from the garden, minced (or 1 tbsp dried mint)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Take all of the above and pulse it through a hand mixer or blender until it’s a lovely smooth paste. Make sure all of the spices are well incorporated throughout the butter.

Now take about a tablespoon of the spiced butter mixture and coat the bottom side of the lamb (that’s the side that would be facing outwards.) Flip the lamb over and now use about 1/3 of your mixture and spread it evenly and liberally on the side that will be facing up (or the inside of the leg of lamb.)

Now go make your dipping sauce.  This one was a personal favourite brining about a wonderful blend of flavours that are simply incredible!

  • 125 g of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp of distilled white vinegar
  • 16 (more) fresh mint leaves, slivered
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper for seasoning

First melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat then add your onions and garlic. That initial waft is magic! Sauté the onions and garlic for about 5-8 minutes, until it goes translucent and slightly browned. Now add your vinegar and slivered mint and bring it to a boil. Once done, stir in your chicken stalk and bring it back up to a boil. Now simply reduce the heat to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes and let the sauce gently bubble away until it reduces a bit and melds all the wonderful flavours together.  Spoon the sauce evenly into small ramekins and place them right on the plate as you serve.

For the grill set up, simply get it up to 400-425F (204-218C) and make sure it’s set up for indirect, that is, use a platesetter if you’ve got a BGE or move your charcoal to one side of your grill. By roasting the lamb on indirect heat, you’ll stop the flare-ups that the spiced butter will cause, thus burning your lovely lamb to a crisp.

Once you’ve stabilised your temperature, you’ll grill your lamb about 15-20 minutes per side, basting the top side with the remaining spiced butter every five minutes. Do this until your butter runs out. The total time should be about 40-45 minutes and of course have your trusty instant read thermometer handy and shoot for an internal temperature of 135F (57C.)

Take the lamb off the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Carve your lamb on an angle and thinly. Make sure you’ve got a cutting board that’s got a juice catcher because this lamb is juicy as! We served our Mechoui with warm dipping sauce and a simple couscous and feta salad. This was one of my all time favourite lamb recipes we’ve done on the Big Green Asian Egg. Highly, highly, highly recommend it!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

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