Monday, July 12, 2010


This is my take on a pair of recipes in this month's Good Housekeeping.  The recipes are for "harissa lamb with bulgur wheat" but, as you cannot get anything resembling a British lamb chop here and I've never been able to find bulgur wheat, I changed them quite a bit.

Instead of bulger wheat, I used couscous, as I do when making tabbouleh, and I decided that I wanted to serve the salad cold.  Here's what I did:

Cover 8 oz couscous with cold water. let it absorb, then repeat the process.  Then let the couscous chill in a serving bowl in the fridge.  Meanwhile, chop a couple of tomatoes - you can skin and deseed them if you like, but I didn't.  Add them to the couscous.  Chop two or three fresh apricots - again, you can skin them if you want - and add these, too.  In a processor chop a good handful of mint leaves, a red pepper and a small onion and add these to the couscous mixture.  Now mix everything well, season the salad and add 6 tablesp olive oil, the juice of a lemon and a little dried oregano.  Mix again and put the salad back in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.

I asked the butcher to cut a kilo of  bone-in lamb as thickly as he could.  I rubbed the lamb on both sides with some harissa, which is available here.  I'm not telling you how much to use as that depends on how hot you like your spicy food.  I like mine good and hot!  Then I heated 4 tablesp olive oil in a pan, chucked in some cumin seeds and then cooked the lamb in the oil for about 12 minutes, turning often. 

As soon as the lamb was ready, I served it with the salad, a combination which worked well.

These quantities would serve 4.


Rosaria Williams said...

Harissa must be an eastern spice, right? The combination of spicy lamb shanks and couscous salad sounds fantastic.

Your choice of gelato will finish the meal, for sure.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, lakeviewer. It's a Tunisian hot chilli paste. Oh, yes, you need a gelato after that!

Maria said...

Love Harissa and yes it's very spicy! Not a lamb person but i might try that with chicken! Hope you and sweet Simi are well!

All the best always,

Rowena said...

I will be making that couscous for dinner tonight. This is the first time that I've read about the cold water method (I always thought that you had to boil it or steam it over hot water).

sally in norfolk said...

The couscous sounds wonderful , i may have to make some today :-)

Saretta said...

That sounds really good! I bet you can find bulger wheat in an erboristoria that carries food, or in a natural food shop. I can get it here in Puglia easily. But, I've never heard of Harissa. Where do you buy that?

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I love this recipe.. and I had never heard of the cold water method either .. Love Lamb, love Harissa, use it a lot.

Use couscous a lot , especially with roasted veggies :-)

Whispering Walls said...

Love couscous

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Maria. I think it would work well with chicken. Hi, Rowena. Well, you do if you want hot couscous but I've been making salad by this cold water method for years! I hope it works well for you. Hi, Sally. Buon appetito! Hi, Saretta. I never thought of the erboristoria - thanks. I will have a look. I get Harissa in large supermarkets. It's easier to find than it was when I first came as the North African population here is growing. Hi, Anne. Glad you like the recipe. Me too, WW.

Claude said...

Another great recipe. I looked at harissa. It's quite easy to make if I cannot find it around here. My son loves spicy food. It's never hot enough for him! I'll surprise him when he visits this week-end. Thank you for this delicious meal, fun to prepare.

All the best from Claudia

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Claudia. I hope your son likes it.


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