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Mechoui of Lamb / Moroccan Grilled Pepper Salad / Rice Pilaf

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jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Saturday's Dinner was 2/3 courtesy of Planet BBQ. I rotisserie grilled a bone-in leg of lamb using the Mechoui of Lamb with Berber Spices recipe. To accompany it, I made a Moroccan Grilled Pepper Salad also from Planet BBQ. The last item was a recipe called Fragrant Rice Pilaf from epicurious.com. I made the rice pilaf a day ahead of time and several of the comments from the recipe mentioned it was actually better reheated. I also grilled the peppers for the salad on Friday as well.

On Saturday I prepped the lamb, which involved inserting pieces of onion, garlic & ginger into a crosshatched pattern of slits made in the lamb and seasoned it with salt & pepper. Then it was off to the rotisserie for 3 hours (my lamb was bigger than the one in the recipe). This was the inaugural trial run of my new Maverick ET-75 Remote Read Rotisserie thermometer and it really made life easy. I was able to keep working in the Kitchen, while keeping tabs on the lamb on the grill. The next step was to make a thick sauce called Charmoula which the lamb gets basted with. Then I finished making the Moroccan salad and waited for the lamb to finish. Once again having a minute by minute reading of the lambs progress made predicting the end time easy. The lamb is taken to 190 degrees which is much higher than any recipe I've used. While the lamb was resting, the lamb drippings in the drip pan were strained and the liquid was added to the remaining Charmoula and the rice pilaf was steamed.

This well done lamb was excellent. The meat was tender and richly flavored and it had a crispy and tasty crust. The Charmoula sauce was just amazing-unlike anything I have tasted and perfect for this lamb. My father who doesn't particularly like lamb, absolutely loved this lamb and had seconds. We were all shocked. The Moroccan salad was wonderful, spicy and well seasoned and was soft and crunchy in equal measure. I'd never made rice pilaf before, but I will do it again because this first run was the best rice pilaf I've ever had. Everyone else said it was the best they've had too. So if you like lamb and have Planet BBQ and like lamb you'' love this recipe.

For those who are interested I made a post about the ET-75 remote read rotisserie thermometer:

http://www.barbecuebible.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=20593


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The rice pilaf used diced onions, garlic & carrots; along with white rice, chicken broth, dried cranberries, cumin, salt & saffron



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The finished rice, the saffron gave the white rice it's yellow color.



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I grilled the red bell peppers and Anaheim chili peppers a day ahead of time.



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The 7 pound lamb has been studded with onion, garlic & ginger slivers & is on the rotisserie.



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The Charmoula sauce uses onion, garlic & ginger plus cilantro,cumin, smoked paprika, salt & pepper, EVOO and water.



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The finished Charmoula sauce gets used to baste the lamb while cooking and gets served with the finished lamb.



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The Moroccan grilled salad used the roasted peppers plus, diced onions & tomatoes, fresh mint, cumin, salt, pepper, EVOO, lemon juice, & red winer vinegar.



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The lamb is done.



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The lamb is ready to carve after a ten minute rest.



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The lamb is carved and served with the remaining Charmouli sauce.



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This lamb was excellent and it even had a tiny smoke ring from the oak chips I used in the grill's smoker drawer.

Jim
Last edited by jfm0830 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
2 Large BGEs
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Post Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:01 am
Bob-BQN User avatar
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Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
That is one beautiful meal. :D I'm betting it did taste as good as it looks.
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Post Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:16 am
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Thanks Bob. The consensus of my regular guests was that was the best meal I have ever made-a bit of a surprise considering most of them had not tried Moroccan food before. Nice compliment, but what the heck do I do for next weekend?

Jim
Last edited by jfm0830 on Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:44 am
Dyal_SC well done
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Posts: 3712
Location: Lexington, SC
Wow, that looks amazing! Growing up, I never ate lamb, as my father wasn't a fan, so I've only had lamb chops twice in my life, at restaurants. I'll definitely have to give this a try! Superb! :)
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Post Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:37 pm
smokin'gal well done
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Posts: 1541
Location: Seattle, WA
I love your posts, Jim, and this one is no different. You just keep outdoing yourself. You're going to have to rotisserie a whole lamb next :lol:

Post Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:26 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Thanks for your kind words guys.
Dyal_SC:
While it is a small sample group so far, I am starting to realize that people who don't like lamb, may just not like the way it was cooked. While there is bad lamb that is gamey, I am noticing the the two recipes I've made where the lamb was taken to 160 & 190 (not the usual 140) were liked by folks who "don't like lamb".

smokin'newb:
What a nice thing to say, since you are no slouch yourself, despite your "newb" handle. As others mentioned you may need to change it. But as you said yourself there are always new things to try. Like you I just enjoy finding new fun things to try. As for the whole lamb: I don't know that that one is in the cards-I'd certainly need a much bigger rig. I'd bet that would be right up BBQueZ's alley though.

Jim
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:11 pm
SCBBQBill well done
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Posts: 657
Location: Charleston, SC
Nice job Jim!!
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Post Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:39 pm
beercuer User avatar
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Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
My goodness, Jim! Like Smokin' says, you just keep outdoing yourself. What an absolutely magnificent flooking feast. All looks so pretty, and the saffron rice pilaf is gorgeious. Your guests sure are lucky.

8) I spy some wine there. Would that happen to be a Zinfandel/Shiraz? Or perhaps a cabenert sauvignon? What a way to go, man!-- a most wonderful way to complete such a terrific feast! :D
Got beer???

Post Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:33 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Bill & beercuer:
Thanks alot.

beercuer:
The wine was actually a merlot. My wife was going to buy a cab, but I thought a merlot might go even better with the deep rich flavor of the lamb.

As for the rice pilaf, what I like is it was easy to make and I am already thinking about some of the things I can try such as adding some grilled or smoked meat into the mix.

Jim
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Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:15 am
beercuer User avatar
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Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
Yeah, merlot is smooth. I think I'd prefer that to a cab myself-- let the lamb do the talking.

That rice will lend itself to all kinds of possibilites. I dig that saffron coloring. :D
Got beer???

Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:07 am
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

beercuer:

What amazed me is all that color comes from 1/8 tsp of saffron. Potent stuff!

JIm
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Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:46 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
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Location: Central Alberta, Canada
I've actually had this exact meal myself, jfm0830 - right down to the exact ingredients in the rice pilaf. One of my coworkers served it at dinner last fall. Yours looks as good, and you did an excellent job! :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:45 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Thanks Canada!

You had the exact same meal? I am curious if there is an interesting story there because 2/3 of my meal came from Planet BBQ which didn't come out till Spring of this year. Your meal was last Fall......

I'll tell you Moroccan food is moving to the top of my list of world cuisine.

Jim
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:03 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
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Posts: 5865
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
jfm0830 wrote:
Thanks Canada!

You had the exact same meal? I am curious if there is an interesting story there because 2/3 of my meal came from Planet BBQ which didn't come out till Spring of this year. Your meal was last Fall......

I'll tell you Moroccan food is moving to the top of my list of world cuisine.

Jim


Well, just because Planet Barbecue only came out a few months ago doesn't mean that Steven's the only grill guru out there. Mechoui of lamb is a fairly common Moroccan dish, as is pilaf and roasted pepper salad.

My meal was prepared by a Moroccan friend of mine, whose relatives just happen to own one of the best Moroccan restaurants in town. What's funny is that my friend usually puts raisins or black currants in his pilaf, but because it was close to Thanksgiving he tried cranberries instead. That's why I said the ingredients in the pilaf were identical (and so were the spices, in fact, if not the proportions). And I'm not surprised, either, because as I said above it's a fairly common traditional recipe (which is probably why it's on Epicurious, too).
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:50 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

I really didn't believe your meal came from some pre-release copy of Steven's book, that is why I thought there might be an interesting story here. And there was. I am glad to see an accomplished chef prepared that combination too. I was looking for two sides to go with the lamb and have them be something that might actually be served with it. It is good to hear that what I picked was in the ballpark.

Actually a friend who makes a lot of Turkish food suggested the saffron rice. It was meant to have cherries in it, but I don't care for cherries. I would have put raisins in it, but my dad doesn't like those. Several of the reader comments mentioned cranberries were great and so it was.

Jim
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Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

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