03 Dec Marrakech at your fingertips. What to cook in your home kitchen
Exotic, colorful, historic, bustling, gastronomic, Marrakech is a feast for all the senses. Even while you’re staying at home, just recalling the magic of this place makes your day a bit brighter. If you’re looking to mix things up in your home kitchen, an evening in Marrakech is sure to provide that much-needed dose of excitement.
With hot temperatures and mild winters, it’s no wonder Marrakech is home to some of the world’s most beloved flavours and healthiest fresh foods. This beautiful and diverse cuisine has gained momentum around the world, offering unique, bold tastes that everyone at the table will enjoy, from vegetarians to meat eaters. From distinct spice blends and marinades, it’s hard to get bored with such a vibrant and versatile cuisine. Moroccan food can also sometimes have a reputation for being difficult to make and hard to master. However, most of the traditional recipes can be adapted for a kitchen outside of Marrakech using ingredients and equipment that you can find more easily and no needing of extra time to make a delicious Moroccan meal. Come on, go ahead creating an aromatic Moroccan-inspired feast at home with family and close friends during coming holidays period. We can’t think of a better dish than the signature SEHHA at our on-site restaurant La Table du riad, to gather your family around.
Sehha consists of slow cooked lamb shanks in a combination of easy to find spices, which you will probably have in the cupboard already. Soft and tender, with a sauce that you could drink by itself!
Yield: 4 servings
Lamb shanks (1 kg /2 ½ pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 ½ cups homemade chicken stock, low-sodium canned, or water
1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large leek, white and light-green parts only, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 mashed cloves Garlic
10g Fresh grated ginger
1 tsp (teaspoon) salt, 1 tsp pepper
½ tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds, ½ fennel seeds thyme
Coarsely grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds in spice mill or with mortar and pestle. Otherwise use powdered spices. Mix in a bowl the spices with ginger, garlic, salt and black pepper.
If possible purchase or ask your butcher to “French” your lamb shanks. This will remove the fat and stringy parts of the upper tips of the lamb. If there is an opaque white layer enrobing shanks, remove by cutting it a bit at the edge, then pulling at the corner: It should come off with a little coaxing. Do not remove iridescent membrane below, which holds the meat together. Use a fork to poke the meat and sprinkle shanks with spices mixture, so that the marinade can get into the meat. Rub the entire roast with the marinade until it is coated. Then let rest to marinade for at least 1 hour but up to overnight.
Thirty minutes before you want to cook them, preheat the oven to 250° and dredge shanks in cornstarch, shaking off any excess. It’s our Chef’s secret process. Heat oil in a large pan and add shanks and cook until browned on all sides, 10–12 minutes. Add onion, carrots, thyme and leek to pan. Pour the stock over the shanks, 5 minutes.
Transfer to oven. Braise 1½ hours, then check liquid level, making sure there is enough stock in pan. Continue braising until meat is completely tender and literally falling off the bone, about 2½ hours total…So. Good. If you are a lamb lover like us, then this lamb shank recipe is definitely a keeper!
At La Table du riad we serve the lamb shanks in their pan juices with designed salt-crusted vegetables, an added challenge. To make things easier, use as side salted vegetables and/or fingerling or regular potatoes halved and quartered with eventually dried fruit.
And SEHHA, the Arabic word for Enjoy your meal!