Pulling away pieces of succulent roast lamb and dipping them into cumin and salt is one of Morocco’s great culinary treats. In the home kitchen, it is very difficult to spit-roast a whole lamb, as is done for large Moroccan celebrations. A delicious version can be prepared by steaming a shoulder or leg of lamb in a large pot until the meat falls off the bone, seasoning it with cumin, then roasting the meat in the oven to give it a golden crust. It’s a straightforward method that yields festive results.
Prep. Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 2 hours
- One 4¼-lb/2-kg bone-in lamb shoulder or leg of lamb
- Coarse sea salt
- 2 Tbsp butter or smen
- Ground cumin for rubbing and dipping
- Fill a large pot fitted with a steamer basket or a couscoussier with water to just below the steamer basket.
- Cut the lamb through the bone, but no further, in order to fit it into the steamer basket.
- Rub the lamb with salt and place in the basket.
- Cover and steam until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone, 1½ hours.
- Check occasionally to make sure that the pot has enough water and doesn’t go dry.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F/200˚C.
- Transfer the lamb to a roasting pan.
- Rub with the butter and a generous amount of cumin and salt.
- Roast until deeply golden, about 20 minutes, turning after about 10 minutes.
- The meat should come away easily with a fork.
- Serve on a platter along with individual small dishes of cumin and salt for dipping the lamb.