Welcome to my cooking blog. My name is Michelle Jenkins. Let me start by admitting that these are NOT gourmet meals, they are NOT fine dining, but they are mine. I have cooked all of these recipes and taken my own photos. They are fairly simple recipes, most of them are quick to prepare and cook and all of them are delicious. I only post my successes! If something doesn't work out, I don't post it. I hope you enjoy this blog.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Moroccan Lamb & Couscous Salad - Julie Goodwin

Please excuse the crappy photo, my Samsung phone camera used to be fantastic, 
but since the Jellybean update it is now rubbish.
Shame on you, Android! My next phone will be an iPhone!

I haven't cooked lamb backstraps before so buying them from my butcher was a new experience for me. I'm not sure if this is universal with all butchers, buy mine told me when you buy backstraps you get the 'backstrap' and a piece of 'fillet'. I didn't know what to expect, in fact I had never seen a backstrap before so when my butcher showed me the 'fillet' I laughed. The fillet was about 10cm long and 2cm wide. My first thought was 'what am I supposed to do with that?' So I served it up along with the backstrap XD

The backstraps are not cheap, in fact it was the most expensive piece of meat I had bought before - $29.99 per kilo but this meal only requires 400g. I can see why backstraps are expensive though - they are the most succulent cut of meat from the lamb. It is the trimmed part of the middle of lamb's loin and is free from any bone, gristle and fat so it is extremely lean.

  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 oranges, zest finely grated, flesh reserved
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400g lamb backstraps
  1. Place currants in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 5-10mins, until plump. I left them for about 30mins
  2. Bring the stock to the boil in a pan over a high heat. Remove from heat and add couscous. Stir, then cover and leave for 5 minutes. The liquid will absorb into the couscous. Add the butter and fluff with a fork. Cover again
  3. Heat half the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and orange zest and cook for a further minute. Stir through the brown sugar
  4. Add the onion mixture to the couscous. Roughly chop the flesh of the oranges (discarding the membrane and pith) and stir through the couscous along with the drained currants and the orange juice. Season to taste with salt & pepper if required
  5. Wipe out the frying pan and heat the remaining oil over a high heat. Combine the spices and salt in a large pres-seal bag and place the lamb inside. Seal and shake the bag to coat the lamb. Brown the lamb in the frying pan then cook for a further few minutes, until done to your liking. This will vary depending on the thickness of the fillets. When the lamb has about the same resistance to it as a palm of your hand, it's about medium. Let the lamb rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving over the top of the couscous. D-E-L-icious XD

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