Morroccan style lamb buffet catering for a 60th birthday near Evesham, Worcestershire

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
2010 - the year of the lamb and hog roasts. But of course there are another ways of cooking it.
How could we cook it without the need of a roasting machine? The lady we were cooking for at Littleton Manor liked the idea of a moroccan theme, and this is what we came up with.....

I picked up the lamb from Home Farm on the way back from a delivery meal for BP (some of the same team members I had cooked for 4 years before).

Then butchered the lamb down into individual cuts - saddle, rump, legs, shoulder, neck, flank.

The bones I kept for later in the day (was 2am by then) to roast and make stock for the tagine.
It was finished the next night after another delivery (3 day event). The boned & rolled legs rubbed with ras el hanout and the saddle and rump marinated with harissa and yogurt. The shoulders (also boned and rolled), neck & (diced) flank were slow cooked for 6 hours as tagine similar to this but with the addition of orange, cinnamon, ground coriander seed and ground cumin.

Canapes (Moroccan stylie)

Za’atar bread with baba ganoush
Za'atar recipe I used.

As luck would have it just a few days before I caught this baba ganoush recipe from Helen which improved on the old one - leave the aubergines on for longer - more smoky.
The first time I saw aubergines being cooked like this it was being done by Madonna's personal cook and I couldn't believe the difference in taste to normal roasting. It's addictive.

Saffron chicken, almonds and sultanans wrapped in filo pastry
I really wanted to try this chicken dish too so turned it into a canape. The filo was left open at the ends unlike a spring roll. Should really try this as a main dish without the filo.....

Vegetarian tagine with cous cous in Japanese spoon
No photo of this one sadly. As we were doing tabbouleh with the lamb I thought we could do cous cous as one tof the canapés. We used Iranian cous cous – which surprised a few people. “The best thing I ever tasted” said one guest. The customer is always right.

Main Course

Homemade morrocan style fennel and honey semolina bread rolls


Whole lamb roast
Lamb butchered and broken down into joints:
• Shoulder, neck, breast and flank slow roasted lamb tagine with toasted almonds – shoulder to be whole to slice
• Saddle marinaded in harrissa and yogurt roasted pink sliced to order
• Roasted legs marinaded with ras el hanout, lemon & garlic cooked pink

Baked butternut squash filled with chickpea tagine
Garlic field mushrooms
Cucumber, yogurt and mint salad
Tabbouleh (incorporating chickpeas)
Spicy potato salad
Grilled and roast vegetables

Half flour and half semolina for the bread rolls with roasted diced fennel and fennel seeds and honey.

The legs, saddle and rump of lamb were roasted once we got to the house on the Saturday afternoon while we set about preparing the accompanying salads.
Sadly the night before the camera had had another camera-meets-water accident so was out of action while it dried out, so all we have are a few photos Ethan managed to get - shame because the whole day was quite epic (Gill was doing another event near Bath).

The shoulder, neck and flank tagine we served in the chafing dish (right) and then I sliced the legs and saddle while guests came up to the buffet while Joe and Ethan started prepping the dessert and Holly started operation clear-up.


Gazelle horns
Crescent shaped almond cookies flavoured with orange flower water (try finding that in Tewkesbury - last minute dash to Cheltenham the night before - was the last one let in the supermarket) from this recipe. I was making these as soon as I had served all the lamb - fresh is best.

Orangeflower and cinnamon rice pudding with spiced strawberries in shotglasses
Rather like the shotglass of Eton Mess that was so popular. Should do this one again - everyone loves rice pudding.

Fruit salad served in a watermelon
Pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, passionfruit and mango in rosewater syrup
After all the indulgence they also wanted something lighter too.


Coffee, tea and homemade coconut and
almond truffles


Maggie said...

All the food, as usual, looks wonderful James.

James said...

Thanks. It was a good one to do. Shame we couldn't get some more pics c'est la vie....

Sam said...

I just love Morroccan food, this all looks fantastic!