Grilled lamb chop marinated in Ras el Hanout spice, served on a Moroccan bean stew, garnished with toasted sliced almonds and a little coriander leaf.
If I ever open a restaurant, this would be on the menu for certain. I have always been a fan of Moroccan cuisine and visited the coastal resort of Agadir a few years ago, where my love of the food only grew. Grilled meats and stews are the backbone of Moroccan cuisine and the inspiration behind this recipe was the local food I sampled in Agadir.
Serves two people
Preparation time 15 minutes (plus 2-3 hrs marinating time)
cooking time 15mins for lamb, approx. 95 minutes for bean stew
Ingredients and Method
2 Lamb loin chops – 150-200g each
2-3 tbsp. Ras el Hanout spice mixture
1 tbsp. olive oil – plus a little to brush on grill pan
Method: Place the lamb chops in a food bag, then add the olive oil and Ras el Hanout. Tie the bag, shake well then massage the spices into the lamb. Place in a fridge for 2-3 hours and take out 30 minutes before grilling to bring to room temperature.
To cook the Lamb, pre heat the grill pan on a high setting, once hot brush the grill with a little olive oil (so spices and lamb don’t stick to it and burn). Once olive oil begins to smoke add the lamb to the grill pan, sear the chops on all sides then reduce heat to medium. Cook the lamb for 12 minutes (for rare) to 14 minutes (medium) , turning every few minutes. It is important to grill the lamb on all sides – including the bone and fat side, this adds flavour and helps renders the fat to make the meat even more succulent. You will likely need to use kitchen tongs to hold the meat when grilling on bone and fat side. Once grilled rest the lamb on a plate for a few minutes before serving.
For the bean stew
235g cannoli beans – drain and rinse well under running water
3 small red onions
4 cloves garlic – remove skin
1 red chilli – remove stalk and seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp medium hot chill powder
1.5 tsps. sweet smoked paprika
6 tbsp. sliced almonds – half for paste half for toasting
2 tbsp. roughly chopped coriander leaf
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp dried parsley leaf
1 tsp dried coriander leaf
1 dessert spoon brown sugar
Black peppercorns – in mill for grinding
1 tsp vinegar
Greek Yogurt – optional condiment
Method: start by making a paste to flavour the bean stew. Add the red onions, garlic, red chilli, chilli powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika and 3 tbsp. sliced almonds into a mini chopper/food processor and blitz into a smooth red paste. Heat 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil in a flat deep non stick frying pan then add the paste. Cook the paste for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently, loosen with a few tsp of water if paste sticks to pan – make sure it does not burn.
Once the paste is cooked add the beans and stir through the paste until combined. Next add the rest of the ingredients – the stock, water, dried parsley, dried coriander, passata, brown sugar, vinegar and a generous amount of ground black pepper. Stir well until combined and heat through until it begins to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Leave pan uncovered and let the stew slowly reduce for around 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the stew is reducing too slowly increase the heat slightly, if sauce has reduced too much simply add a little water to loosen it. The stew is ready when beans are softened and the sauce has reduced to a rich thick consistency.
To make the garnish simply toast the rest of the sliced almonds in a dry pan over a medium heat, turning frequently until the almonds toast and start to take on a golden brown colour. remove them from the heat and tip the almonds on to a plate. To serve spoon the bean stew on to the plate, place the grilled lamb in centre then sprinkle with toasted almonds and coriander leaf. Some Greek yogurt works very well as a condiment.