Moroccan Lamb Casserole with Mint Dressing

Moroccan Lamb Casserole with Mint Dressing
Staff Writer
Moroccan Casserole
Susie Cushner
Moroccan Casserole

This is one of my favorites because you simply marinate the meat overnight in the casserole, then put it into the oven and bake it for many hours at a low temperature. This gives you time to cook the couscous (which only takes five minutes) and prepare the mint sauce. We have mint-gone-wild all around our house, and this is a wonderful way to use it. The marinade contains harissa, a fiery hot sauce often used to flavor couscous, soups, stews, and other dishes. If you can’t find harissa, you can substitute Thai red or green curry paste, which isn’t exactly the same flavor, but adds heat and some layers of flavor.

Adapted from "The Best Casserole Book Ever" by Beatrice Ojakangas.

Click here to see Best Spring Lamb Recipes.

Ingredients

For the lamb:

  • 4 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon harissa or Thai green or red curry paste, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, toasted and crushed*
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

For the mint sauce:

  • 2 cups tightly packed fresh mint leaves, washed and dried
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooked couscous for serving
  • Dry-roasted peanuts, for garnish
  • Raisins, for garnish
  • Sweetened shredded coconut, for garnish

Directions

For the lamb:

Put the meat into a heavy 3-quart casserole. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, harissa, coriander seeds, and cumin. Mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and spread the onions over the top of the meat. Press a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper onto the meat and tuck the edges around the sides of the casserole. Cover with the lid of the casserole.

Place casserole in the oven and bake for 4 hours, or until the meat is very tender.

For the mint sauce:

Combine the mint, shallots, garlic, vinegar, and oil in a food processor with the steel blade in place and process until almost smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper.

When the meat is almost done, prepare the couscous according to the package directions. To serve, spoon the meat and juices over each serving of couscous. Top with the mint sauce, peanuts, raisins, and coconut, plus more harissa, if desired.

*Note: To toast coriander seeds, put them in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast, stirring occasionally, until aromatic, about 10 minutes.

Moroccan Shopping Tip

Choose raw fruits, vegetables, and meats, and unprocessed foods.

Moroccan Cooking Tip

Substitute butter for olive oil, and bake, broil, or grill instead of fry.