Slow roasting can often be the easiest form of cooking. A nice cut of meat, like leg of lamb, rubbed in spices and placed on top of dried chickpeas and tomatoes, can turn into one of the most delicious meals you have had in a long time, without much work at all.
Ras el Hanout, a blend of warming spices found in most grocery stores today, originated in Northern Africa. This spice combination as well as a long cooking time, transforms meat, like lamb, into a very tasty meal. After a six-hour braising experience, the lamb becomes tender and juicy, so much so that you can pull it with a fork, like pulled pork.
The delicate chickpeas resting in a lemony-tomato liquid become the platform in which the shredded meat is presented. This recipe will feed a small crowd and probably leave you with a few leftovers to transform into taco night during the week, or reheat as originally made. Ahh, the gentle warming flavors of fall.
5 pound bone-in leg of lamb
3 tablespoons Ras el Hanout
2 cups dried chickpeas, not canned
28 ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
1 preserved lemon, diced or zest of 2 lemons
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rub lamb with Ras el Hanout, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, set aside. In a large roasting pan or casserole, add dried chickpeas. Pour tomatoes over top and break apart with fingers. Add preserved lemon, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and toss to combine.
- Pour chicken broth and 1 cup water over top of chickpeas, along with bay leaves. Place rubbed lamb on top and cover with foil, seal. Place in oven to roast for 6 1/2 hours or until fork tender. Remove and let rest in juices for 15 minutes before shredding. Ladle brothy chickpeas into bowls and top with lamb. Sprinkle each bowl with cilantro before serving. Enjoy!