Moroccan-Style Grilled Leg of Lamb with Couscous

Total Time:
8 hr
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
6 hr
Cook:
1 hr 30 min

Yield:
6 to 8 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 leg of lamb, deboned and butterflied, untied, about 3 to 3 1/2 pounds
  • For the couscous:
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 box couscous, prepared according to package directions using the broth below
  • 1/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped oil-cured olives
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Special equipment: butcher's twine
Directions
For the couscous:

In a food processor, combine the onion, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, paprika, 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves and process until smooth. While the motor is running, add 1/3 cup of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and process to combine.

Place the lamb on a clean work surface, skin and fat side down. Rub half of the spice mixture over the lamb, then roll up tightly to form a cylinder shape and tie in 1 1/2-inch increments with butcher's twine. Rub the outside of the lamb with the remaining spice mixture and transfer to a plastic food storage bag just large enough to hold the lamb. Allow lamb to marinate for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Using paper towels, remove as much of the spice rub from the outside of the lamb, then rub the lamb on all sides 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Transfer the lamb to the grill and cook, turning every 15 minutes or so to promote even cooking. Grill until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the lamb registers 145 degrees F for medium-rare, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lamb from the grill and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

For the couscous:

Heat the broth in a medium saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3/4 teaspoon salt. When the broth comes to a boil, add the couscous, stir, and cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover the couscous, fluff with a fork, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, olives, scallions, mint, parsley, and lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For assembly:

Cut the butcher's twine away from the lamb and slice into thin slices. Serve the couscous with lemon wedges for guests to add more lemon juice, to taste.


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