Recipe courtesy of Rafih Benjelloun

Lamb with Artichokes, Lemon and Olives

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  • Level: Easy
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2 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut

2 ounces extra virgin olive oil

3 large onions, finely chopped

1 cup finely chopped parsley

1 pinch saffron

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon cumin

3 cloves garlic

1/3 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste

4 cups water

1 preserved lemon, cubed

1/2 cup green olives

1/2 preserved lemon cut into 1/3-inch thick rounds

Lemon sliced, for garnish

Chopped parsley, for garnish

Artichokes with Lemons and Olives:

3 large artichokes, quartered, and covered in cold water

1 large onion diced in 2-inch cubes

4 cloves garlic, finely diced

3 bay leaves

3 stems parsley

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Pinch of saffron

2 ounces olive oil

15 green olives or kalamata olives

1 juice of a lemon

Salt to taste

3 cups of water

Lemon slices, for garnish


  1. For the lamb: Trim the lamb shoulder to remove all the fat and cube into medium size pieces. In a Dutch oven or large sauce pot heat the olive oil until hot and saute the onions until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Next, add the lamb pieces and cook for approximately 2 to 4 minutes. Add the saffron, pepper, parsley, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon cumin, and 1/3 teaspoon turmeric. Mix well and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the water, cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the lamb is tender, transfer it to a separate casserole with a small amount of sauce to keep it warm. To the sauce add 1/2 cup green olives and allow the sauce to cook for 3 more minutes. Pour the sauce and artichokes over the lamb on the casserole plate and garnish the plate with fresh lemon slices as well as preserved lemon slices, and freshly chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
  2. For the Artichokes with Lemons and Olives: Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot, add onions, garlic, saffron, black pepper, cumin, salt and bay leaves, stir well and bring to a boil. Drain the artichokes from cold water and put in the casserole, cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then add olives, lemon juice and preserved lemon, reduce heat for another 10 minutes, and let simmer. Serve in a platter, pour lemon juice over artichokes and garnish with thin slices of lemon. Serve the artichokes as a vegetarian dish or as a garnish for lamb.