Cook Time: 7.5 – 8 hours + 20 minutes to brown
Rest Time: 10 minutes
- 1 bone in leg of lamb, about 7 pounds (3 kg). (If you use a leg of around 4 pounds (2 kg) or less, lessen the cooking time.)
- 1 tablespoon Ras al Hanout.
- 1 tablespoon oil (regular olive oil, or avocado oil)
- 3 tablespoons softened butter, or ghee.
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed.
- an OPTIONAL 1/3-1/4 cup (60-80 mL) of concentrated homemade lamb bone broth. (You can omit entirely, or use a beef bone broth instead.)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pre-heat oven to 250 F / 121 C.
Cut off excess fat from the lamb (do leave some fat and fat cap on,, especially if you use a grass-fed leg from a conscientious farmer), then take a sharp knife and make several deep cuts into the leg in various locations. I made about 15.
Mix the Ras al Hanout, oil, butter, and garlic together in a small bowl.
Rub all over the lamb, pushing some of this rub into the crevices you’d made with your knife.
Set in a deep cooking tray, and add in the additional bone broth to the bottom of the pan (if you have it). Cover tightly with aluminum (aluminium?) foil.
Cook for 7.5 – 8 hours at that 250 F/ 121 C. Every hour or two, remove from oven and baste. Re-cover and return to oven.
When it has finished cooking, the meat will be tender, and will have drawn back from the bone. Liquids should run clear when pierced.
Re-set oven to 475 F / 246 C.
Remove foil, baste once again, add the lemon juice over the top. Return to oven without foil, and cook for another 20 minutes at this higher temperature, allowing the meat to brown.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes, tented with your foil.
Carve, serve, enjoy! For further veracity, have a few separate cellars of salt, cumin, and the like on the table, for people to dip the meat into as they eat. (I did omit this step, this time. For one, we’re all watching our sodium levels, which may not be so necessary in the hot and arid Moroccan desert.)
It makes wonderful leftovers…. As I type this I am enjoying a lamb, scallion, cheddar cheese breakfast omelet, seasoned with additional ground pepper and turmeric.
I reserved the juice from the lamb, refrigerated and then scraped off the fat — this will become the base for a soup. The bone will be reserved for some future lamb bone broth – there’s still marrow deep inside, as well as collagen and flavors to be had.
Oh: for true veracity, here’s a short video from YouTube showing lamb mechoui (the whole animal) being made/but mostly served in Morocco, using traditional methods. The video quality is unfortunately lacking, but the spirit is here.