As you know, I love a good cookbook and have a rather sizeable collection. By my standards, this one ticks all the right boxes. Gorgeous mouthwatering photography - tick. Interesting recipes which you don't see in every other book - tick. Easy to follow instructions - tick. All good, well done Tom!
Last time I had friends over for Sunday lunch I decided to do something a bit different and I went for Toms slow-roast harissa lamb with lime cous cous recipe. The method is there for homemade harissa but due to time I bought a paste, the Tesco one is surprisingly good - one of the best I've tried. Next time I'll definitely be trying it from scratch!
There are a lot of instructions and ingredients for this dish which feeds 4-6 people. For the harissa, you can see the ingredients and method from the original recipe here. Taken from Tom's cookbook (the whole recipe is not available online), here's what to do for the rest of the dish:
- 1 leg of lamb on the bone weighing 2kg (or shoulder would work)
- 10 red onions, peeled and halved
- A handful of fresh coriander
- 300ml chicken stock
- Jar of harissa paste (if not using your own)
- 100ml olive oil
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 onion finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 400ml water
- 2 chicken stock cubes (Tom recommends these! Just as good as fresh stock for this recipe)
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 400g Cous Cous
- 4 tbsp roughly chopped parsley & same of coriander
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- 100g pitted and halved black olives
- Finely grated zest and juice of a lemon
- Salt & pepper to season
- Make 1cm deep cuts all over the lamb (around 10-15 total) and rub 3-4 tablespoons of harissa all over the meat, really making sure you've massaged it right in.
- Put the red onions into a large roasting tray and lay the leg on top. Wrap the whole tin in clingfilm and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 140c/gas mark 1. Unwrap the lamb and place the tin in the oven.
- Roast for 4-5 hours, basting occasionally, until you can prise the lamb away from the bone with a fork. Lift the lamb out and place on a board or serving plate.
- Put the chicken stock into the roasting tray with the charred and softened onions. Place on the hob and bring to the boil. Scrape the bottom of the tray with a spoon to get the flavoursome bits free.
- Bubble and let the liquid reduce by a third until you have a thick, rich onion sauce. Stir in 1 tablespoon of harissa and the coriander.
- Pour 50ml olive oil into a saucepan. Add the saffron and let it steep i the oil over a low heat for 5 minutes. Raise the heat a little, add the onion and garlic and sweat gently until soft, stirring occasionally - for 10-15 minutes.
- Bring 400ml of water to the boil in another saucepan. Crumble in the chicken stock cubes & lime leaves.
- Add the cous cous to the onion and saffron mix and stir. Pour in the chicken stock and lime leaf mix and remove from the heat. Cover the saucepan with clingfilm and leave for 10 mins until the cous cous has soaked up the liquid. Fluff with a fork.
- Stir in the herbs, olives and 2-3 tablespoons of harissa. Finally add the remaining olive oil, lemon zest and juice and season to taste.
This was a chance to use the saffron I brought home from a recent trip to Valencia - I love how cute the bottle is and the tiny cork. Any excuse to fill that condiments cupboard up further... :)
The finished thing - delicious. The lamb was tender and really flavourful. It's work the 5 hour wait and believe me, your house will smell like heaven! Harissa is such a lovely warming flavour. I chose to serve with a simple green salad to help bulk out the meal. The cous cous was the only thing we were very slightly disappointed with - a little dry but that could be because I made it in advance and should have added a few drops of liquid to help revive it before serving.