Monday, 30 June 2014

Moroccan Ras El Hanout Minced Lamb With Couscous & Minted Yogurt - A Recipe.

Well it was safe to say this was a big hit will all the family, clean plates all around and no leftovers in sight! This Moroccan spiced lamb dish is simple to make but packed full of big flavours and fresh ingredients. I chose to serve it with green beans and spicy couscous from Aldi but you could always make up some plain couscous or even have it with rice. So here is what you will need:

  • 1/2 a pack of minced lamb.
  • 1/2 a can of chickpeas.
  • 1 grated carrot.
  • 1/2 a small onion.
  • 1/2 a pepper.
  • 1 clove of garlic.
  • Handful of halved button mushrooms. 
  • 2-3tsp of Ras El Hanout paste.
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes.
  • 1/2 pint of chicken/vegetable stock.
  • A pinch of saffron (optional)  
  • 2 spring onions.
  • 1/2 a lemon 
  • Small handful of cashew nuts.
  • Fresh mint leaves. 
  • Handful of pitted green olives. 
That may seem like a lot of ingredients and not all are essential, if there is something you don't have there is no harm in substituting it for something else or leaving it out completely I often do this with many recipes depending on what I have in my fridge and cupboards! 

Start by putting your lamb mince in a large fry pan to brown, no oil is necessary as a lot of fat will come out of the mince you can always spoon this fat out to make it extra lean. Whist the meat is browning prep your carrot, pepper, garlic, onion and mushrooms, I like to use quite a small dice for the vegetables and I find the carrot works best grated as it cooks quicker. Add these vegetables to the pan with your mince and fry till they have softened. 

Next add 1/2 a can of chickpeas and 2-3tsp of the Ras El Hanout paste, I found the paste in Tesco but there are recipes online for making your own. The paste mainly consists of a mix of spices commonly found in Moroccan cooking for example paprika and cumin. The paste is only mildly spicy but packed full of flavour, allow it to cook for 5 minutes then add a can of chopped tomatoes, 1/2 a pint of chicken stock and a pinch of saffron if you have it. 

Simmer and allow to cook for around 20-30 minutes until most of the liquid has reduced. Slice a couple of spring onions, some olives and a small punch of fresh mint leaves, these can be added along with a handful of cashew nuts 10 minutes before serving. 

Make up some couscous to packet instructions and/or steam some green vegetables to accompany the Moroccan mince. I also like to make a little minted yogurt to dollop on top and its so simple to make just add a couple of teaspoons of mint sauce to some natural yogurt this is a great tool for cooling down a spicy dish especially for children. As you serve squeeze a lemon wedge over your Moroccan lamb and then you are all done and ready to eat! 

For the children I mixed a small amount of the Moroccan lamb with some plain boiled rice adding a large dollop of the yogurt to cool down the spices and they absolutely loved it! I even managed to hide some chopped up green beans in it and they ate it all! 

Thank you for reading!


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