Our new French foodie obsession is meat from L’Aubrac, the region where PB is from. It’s best known for it’s knife industry (this is where authentic Laguiole knives are produced), as well as their own breed of cow, which produces some of the best beef that France has to offer. Our main man is butcher Maison Conquet, whose wares are served in the 3 Michelin-starred restaurant headed by Sébastien Bras – if it’s good enough for them, then it’s certainly worth the effort to bring it home to our kitchen!
The region is also known for it’s lamb, and we had some lamb cutlets that were destined for our plates this weekend. Lamb is already a strong tasting meat, but a little bit of spice goes a long way to give it some dimension. I found a recipe which called for a dusting of ground almonds with ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice which basically translates as ‘best of the shop’.
I couldn’t find the spice in the shops so I made a simplified version of it myself, the recipe is below if needed.
Moroccan Lamb Cutlets with Easy Pea-sy Couscous
2 tbsp ras el hanout
1 tbsp almond meal
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
12 lamb cutlets
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped (can be substituted with 3 French shallots)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup couscous
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water (from cooking the peas)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
Flat leaf parsely, to garnish (optional)
For the Ras El Hanout:
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamon
2 tsp ground mace
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground anise seeds
1/4 tsp ground cloves
♥ Mix your ras el hanout – I didn’t have mace in my spice cabinet and did perfectly fine without it. I had anise seeds and whole cloves, which I ground down myself with a pestle and mortar. Mix it all up and seal it in a jar for future use.
♥ Mix the ras el hanout with almond meal, dust each side of the cutlets evenly, pressing the mixture in. Set aside whilst you prepare the couscous.
♥ Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic, cook until they are soft but not browned, about 3-5 minutes. Put the peas in a small bowl and add 1/2 cup of water – nuke them in the microwave for 2 minutes. Once onions are softened, add the peas together with water, chicken stock and couscous. Cook over high heat until just boiling, then turn off the heat and cover.
♥ Brush a large frying pan with oil and when it is hot enough, add the lamb cutlets, cooking for 2-3 minutes on each side.
With the couscous soaking up the juices from the lamb, there’s a lot of flavour in this dish. It’s a simple yet super tasty 20 minute meal. Move over Jamie Oliver, 20 is the new 30!
♥♥♥ Enjoy! ♥♥♥