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Lamd Mechoui North African Recipe

Moroccan Lamb Mechoui

Since I do not have enough people to feed a proper mechoui to I generally cook a leg or preferably a shoulder of lamb. The shoulder lends itself to the longer cooking time and yields incredibly tender and juicy meat. I marinate the lamb for at least two hours but preferably overnight. I like to cook the mechoui in a hot smoker or charcoal grill but an oven at 375°F will work as well. Serve with saffron rice or golden couscous.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs 8 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine North African
Servings 8 people


For Spiced Butter:

  • 1.5 tbsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 cup (226g) Unsalted Butter room temperature (2 sticks)


  • 1 4-5lbs Lamb shoulder deboned (1.8-2.2kg)

For Golden Couscous:

  • 1/4 cup (56ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1 Onion peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 Carrot peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 thin Zucchini washed and chopped fine
  • 2 cups (453g) Israeli Couscous
  • 1 pinch Saffron
  • 1 pinch Turmeric
  • 1 pinch Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch Cumin
  • 2 tbsp Chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup (56g) Dried apricots or raisins diced
  • 1/4 cup (56g) Slivered Almonds toasted
  • 2 cups (454ml) Chicken Broth


Make the Spiced Butter:

  • Make the spiced butter by beating all the spices with the softened butter.

Prepare the Lamb:

  • Remove any excess fat your lamb shoulder might have. Rub 2/3rds of the softened butter into the meat, covering the entire surface. Let marinate for a minimum of 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in your refrigerator.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Place the lamb shoulder onto a rack in a roasting pan and cook for 2 hours, or until the lamb is fully cooked. If you are using a smoker or a charcoal fire let the lamb cook low and slow for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is fully cooked and tender.

Make the Golden Couscous:

  • While the lamb is cooking, prepare the golden couscous. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the oil until hot.
  • Add the garlic, onion, carrot, and zucchini and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the couscous, saffron, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin. Stir briefly, then add the parsley, apricots, almonds, and broth.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower to a bare simmer and cook covered until the couscous is tender about 20 minutes.

To Serve Your Mechoui:

  • Remove the cooked lamb shoulder to a cutting board. Carve the meat into thin slices and pour over the remaining spiced butter. Pass the meat and couscous at your table.
Keyword Lamb
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