Continuing last weeks culinary extravaganza I decided to use the lamb I had bought earlier in the week and make a Harissa marinate to go with it. Harissa is a hot red pepper paste used in North African cooking! I've never made it before but I've heard it mention a few times recently. It was so so tasty!! No surprise but I found this recipe in the latest edition of the BBC Good Food Magazine!
I left it in the fridge to marinate and then went out to a fashion show with Hannah at the Assembly rooms. (I forgot my camera though! Very unlike me! So sadly no pictures from that night!) Whilst I was there Nathan cooked his lamb and made couscous to go with it for his dinner.... he sent me a text and all it said was "I'm in Harissa Heaven!" ... so we'll def be making this dish again... this dish would also be great for the BBQ if you like a bit of spice!
Makes 200ml - Prep: 10 mins - Cooking Time 5 mins
Deseed and roughly chop 3 long red chillies, then fry with 6 sliced garlic cloves in a little oil until softened. Add 2 tsp smoked paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin, then fry for another minute. Cool, then put in a food processor and whizz (I used my hand held electronic whisk) with 100 ml olive oil, juice 2 limes, 2 good handfuls coriander, 2 good handfuls flat-leaf parsley and a handful of mint.
To make the Harissa Marinated Lamb
Lamb (I used leg steaks but the original recipe uses a rack of lamb- 3 x 6-bone racks of lamb, French trimmed (ask your butcher)
100ml/ 3 1/2 fl oz Harissa (see recipe above or buy it)
400g/ 14oz natural yogurt
good bunch of rosemary, leaves stripped
small bunch of mint, leaves chopped
1. If using a rack of lamb- Using a sharp knife, score the fat of the lamb in a criss cross pattern, then put in a large bowl. Mix together the Harissa and yogurt, then rub half all over the lamb. Tip in the rosemary, give it a mix, then marinate overnight or for at least an hour.
2. Heat the BBQ or grill. Scrape most of the marinade from the lamb; then, if barbecuing place the lamb on the heat, fat side down (relevant if using the rack of lamb) Do not move until they start to flame. Once the flames start to lick the racks turn over and cook for a good 6 -8 mins more. Turn again and repeat the process twice. If grilling (which is what we did) grill fat side up first for 15 minutes then turn and grill for 15 minutes more. (Our steaks had very little fat on them so I just cooked them 10 mins each side. Judge for yourself as the lamb is good when still slightly pink.)
3. Meanwhile, stir the mint leaves into the remaining Harissa and yogurt mix, then season to taste. Once the meat is ready, leave to rest for 10 minutes, then carve into individual cutlets. Serve with the harissa dressing.