This is a tremendously easy but incredibly tasty dish, perfect for barbecues and al fresco dining. Of North African origin, Ras-el-hanout literally means ‘top shelf’, referring to the merchant using their finest spices for their best customers. A unique blend often containing more than a dozen different spices according to what’s good at that time, the fresh ground ones have the best flavour.
Increasingly available online or in good shops it’s definitely worth picking up when you see it because of its versatility.
Ingredients (serves 3 or 4)
- 12 thick cut lamb cutlets
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 tbsp Ras-el-hanout
- 8 tbsp rapeseed oil
- zest & juice of 1 lemon
- Peel the garlic and mash it with the salt in a pestle and mortar. Add the spice, oil and lemon juice and mix to a loose paste.
- Rub the lamb cutlets all over with the marinade and set them aside in a dish for a few hours, ideally overnight in the fridge. Take out an hour before using to get them to room temperature.
- Get the barbecue or griddle pan really hot, then place the lamb on it, cooking for 3-4 minutes, depending on thickness. Turn over and continue cooking for a further 2-3 minutes. It’s better to be pink than overdone so keep an eye on them.
- Take off the heat and leave to rest for a few minutes.
Serve with warm pitta breads, sour cream and a big dollop of Zhoug. This can be made with lamb steaks as well.