Ras el Hanout recipe card
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Ras el Hanout is Arabic and loosely means ‘head of the shop’. It refers to the very best stuff a spice dealer has to offer. Ras el Hanout is not just one spice blend, but comes in many variations, including curry and Garam Masala.
Mill & Mortar’s Ras el Hanout blend has notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and warm spices combined with the sweetness of rose petals and lavender. This blend is ideal for lamb, but also tastes wonderful in chicken, couscous and vegetable stews.
Ras el Hanout lamb stew
This divine lamb stew is mildly spicy, yet rich in flavour with a touch of sweetness from the dried fruit. A delightful, slow-cooked dish that lets you enjoy the wonderful aromas for hours as they spread throughout the kitchen.
4 lamb shanks
2-3 tbsp Ras el Hanout
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
500-1,000 ml stock (veal, beef, lamb or whatever is available)
4 tbsp honey
75 g almonds
75 g raisins or other dried fruit
Fresh herbs, such as parsley or coriander (optional)
Rub the shanks with Ras el Hanout and some salt, place them on the bottom of a clay pot or a thick-bottomed, ovenproof casserole with a lid. Add the remaining ingredients except the almonds – we shall save those until about 15 minutes before the lamb is done. Take care to add enough stock to cover the meat about half-way up, then put the lid on and place in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 180°C and cook for approx. 2½-3 hours. Check the lamb once in a while to make sure it doesn’t dry out – turning the shanks over and adding a little more stock if necessary.
Towards the end, add the almonds. The lamb is done when you can pull it off the bone easily with a knife.
Set the meat aside and keep warm, then pour the soup into a pot. Skim off the fat if desired, then reduce the soup by about one-third. Pour the hot,
reduced sauce over the meat. Garnish with chopped parsley or coriander and serve with couscous and a salad, if desired.
You can use any cut of lamb in this dish, just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly. Lamb shanks take the longest to cook. You can also add some root vegetables during the last hour of cooking for more fill.
Shanks for your patience!