Ras el hanout = a spice blend of coriander, black pepper, ginger, paprika, allspice, cardamon, mace, nutmeg, turmeric, cayenne, cloves and rose petals.
After a grand tour around Nottingham I finally found the elusive 'ras el hanout' Moroccan style spice mix with rose petals at Waitrose. I knew that a version was available at Tescos but felt dis-inclined to go to my work place on a holiday day off.
I have been hankering after making this unctuous Moroccan lamb dish with sweet and new potatoes, shallots, apricots, chunky carrots and coriander for a while and, during a brief holiday from work I thought 'now' is the chance to try making it for the first time. I got the recipe from Rick Stein's book French Odyssey. It's also available on the internet but with larger amounts than I did for myself.
The French Odyssey DVD is a classic that I watched over and over again. I love it!
If I had any advice to offer it would be to prepare everything in advance. Each step follows the other rapidly so no time for casual messing about preparing the veg or any other item along the way. A nice bottle of Shiraz helps the cooking too. To drink not as an ingredient. :0)
I'd already stripped the leg of lamb of excess fat and after taking out the bones had cut the meat into big chunks. As it was a whole leg of lamb I put a proportion of it in the freezer as lamb steaks. The traditional recipe seems to call for a big bunch of expensive lamb shanks and as I got the leg of lamb cheap from my local CO-OP store I felt happy to cheat with the meat. A whole leg of NZ lamb cost me just £9 on a special offer
|stirring the paste and ras el hanout in the olive oil|
At the last minute I prepared some couscous from a packet and my dinner was ready. The warm kitchen smelt fantastic from all the spicy aromatics. Yum yum.