Harissa Spiced Lamb and Moroccan Style Bulgar Wheat

Moroccan Lamb and Bulgar Wheat

Ordinarily, this would have been a shoe-in for the barbecue – hot spice rub and lamb still on the bone is heaven for me. It is still January (just) and therefore in order to prevent the neighbours sending round the men in white coats, I thought I’d get the iron griddle pan out.

I got the lamb, ready trimmed, at a good butcher in the Fenwicks department store Newcastle. I rubbed with a Harissa spice mix from the mmm… deli in the local market. It was very good actually but I think I’ll give it a go myself next time. I finished it off with a simple yoghurt sauce made from some home-made mint sauce, pinch of sugar and, of course, yoghurt.

Keeping with the theme, I made a side dish of bulgar wheat using North African type ingredients and flavours including turmeric, raisins, cinnamon and cumin. I know that cous-cous is the usual choice here, but I actually prefer bulgar wheat as it has a much better texture in my opinion. It’s also high in fibre and low in GI, which, I’m told, is a good thing.

I finished the thing off with a spicy fresh made coleslaw, using a little of the harissa spice and paprika to add a bit of ‘zing’.

Helen is not a fan of lamb I’m afraid to say, but I’ve forgiven her for this 😉 So, for her I made the same with a pork chop from the same butcher and she said, looking a bit flush, it was “tasty, but a bit spicy”

  • 2 lamb cutlets.
  • 2 tsp harissa spice mix, combined with 2 tsp oil to make a paste

(Spoon the mix onto the lamb and leave to marinade in a food bag overnight or for as long as possible).

  • 100g bulgar wheat
  • handful of dried mixed fruit (sultanas and raisins)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • handful of almonds
  • handful of pumpkin seeds
  • chicken stock
  • salt

For the coleslaw

  • half an onion
  • handful of sliced white cabbage
  • 1 small carrot
  • A good pinch of paprika, Harissa spice and a small pinch of salt
  • Mayonnaise

For the yoghurt sauce

  • 4 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tsp mint sauce
  • 1 good pinch sugar

Make up the stock with boiling water (I used cubes as I didn’t have any made up). Fry off the onions and garlic in a little oil in a medium pan (with a lid). When soft, add the bulgar wheat, dried fruit, nuts, spices and the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat off. After about 15 minutes the water will have been absorbed. Taste and add a little more boiling water if underdone. Season with salt if needed.

Heat the oven to 180ºc/350ºF.  Heat the griddle pan until searing hot and place the seasoned lamb cutlets on. Seal for a few minutes and turn them over. Pop them in the oven for about 5-10 minutes – I like them still pink.

Whilst doing this make a blazing quick coleslaw: blitz half an onion, a handful of white cabbage and a small carrot in a food processor. Empty into a bowl withth spice spice and mix through enough mayo to coat.

Make the mint sauce by simply combining the ingredients.

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