Though the meat-centric menu at Timothy Rattray's newly opened restaurant, The Granary, in San Antonio, Texas, largely pays homage to Texas barbecue, Rattray also incorporates spices and flavors from further-flung locales. Take his Moroccan-style lamb shoulder, reminiscent of the spicy Indian food he ate as a kid in London. Rubbed with curry powder, cinnamon and coriander, the lamb shoulder is paired with crème fraîche spiked with ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice blend) and served alongside couscous fragrant with preserved lemons. You'll be happily daydreaming about Morocco with every bite.
Moroccan Lamb Shoulder with Preserved Lemon Couscous and Spiced Crème Fraîche
Recipe adapted from Timothy Rattray, The Granary, San Antonio, Texas
Yield: 6 servings
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3- to 3½-pound boneless lamb shoulder roast
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 cup crème fraîche
2 teaspoons ras el hanout (optional)
1 cup water
1 cup couscous
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely diced preserved lemon
1. Make the lamb: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix together the curry powder, cinnamon and coriander. Set the lamb on a cutting board and if the roast is tied, remove and discard the string. Rub the spices all over both sides of the lamb, then rub with 1 tablespoon of the salt. Roll the lamb into a tidy roast and use butcher's twine to retie the lamb in 1½-inch intervals. Place the lamb in a baking dish and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb reads 140°, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, loosely tent with aluminum foil and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
2. While the lamb rests, make the couscous: Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the couscous and the salt. Stir, cover the saucepan and turn off the heat. Let the couscous absorb the water until it is fluffy and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and use a fork to stir in the preserved lemon.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the crème fraîche, ras el hanout (if using) and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Carve the lamb crosswise into thin slices and serve with the couscous and a dollop of the spiced crème fraîche.