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Moroccan lamb shoulder

Top Aussie-African chef Mel Alafaci has you covered for those cold winter nights with this delicious lamb recipe. And the goods news is it's easy to prepare without compromising on taste or quality,

Moroccan Lamb with Date, Mint and Pistachio


  • 2-4 kg-lamb shoulder bone in or out, but removed from trussing or netting and then opened up

  • Salt and pepper to season

  • 1-2 litres weak chicken stock (this will depend on the depth of the baking dish you use • 1 teaspoon freshly grated turmeric (or powder)

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin/ras el hanout spice

  • 1 cinnamon quill and three star anise


  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried figs or pitted dates

  • Zest of one lemon

  • 1/2 cup almonds/pistachios/ other nuts roasted and chopped

  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint OR coriander


  1. Season the shoulder with salt and pepper, some of the turmeric and spices and rub into the skin with a little water or oil to give the shoulder a nice suntan!

  2. Add any remaining spices to the stock.

  3. Now place skin side up in a roasting tray, add the stock making sure the stock comes at least halfway up the shoulder so it is nicely surrounded by half liquid. If you have too much cooking liquid reserve it for later as you may need to top up the lamb during the cooking process.

  4. Braise (roast with liquid) in a hot oven of 220oC for at least an hour, remove from the oven and turn the shoulder over, return to the oven for half an hour and turn over again.

  5. Cook for another 15-30 minutes to get the skin nicely brown and crisp and then remove from the oven.

  6. Make the bling by mixing the chopped dates, nuts, mint and zest together.

  7. Garnish the lamb with the bling and then serve!

NOTE: If you have a little more time this actually benefits from a long slow cook, so reduce the heat to 160oC and cook for 4 hours altogether! It will be falling apart with tenderness!



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