Life on the farm continues from one season to the next, with us waving goodbye to the longest and hottest summer I can remember. For those who are climate change deniers it was apparently hotter in 1910, but happily I wasn't there to swelter on that occasion. This has been a summer of dust storms, wild summer storms (not much rain) and now ants, which we are optimistically attributing to a change in the barometric pressure and an indication of big rain to come. We will have to wait and see....
Chermoula is a traditional Moroccan spice rub, traditionally used for fish but adapted here for the tender lamb backstrap. I felt inspired by the flavours of Morocco this week because I have been following on instagram @libbytravers who has been taking her followers on a visual feast of Marrakech. It is possible I'm just dreaming of greener pastures, but more likely that the secret gardens, the colourful souks and exquisite flavours remind we what we can achieve - even when we live in a what feels like a desert hinterland!
CHERMOULA LAMB BACKSTRAP
2 x Outback Lamb backstraps
chermoula paste (see below)
Carrot & honeyed almond salad (see below)
Rub lamb with chermoula and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat your BBQ or your favourite pan over medium heat and cook lamb for 7-10 minutes on each side. Sometimes if I'm in a hurry I will brown it quickly in the pan and then pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes, just until its done to your liking. The important bit is to let it rest afterwards for 5 minutes before slicing.
Slice lamb and serve with carrot & almond salad.
½ tspn cumin seeds (you could do an extra 2 spoonfuls here, to set aside for the carrot & almond salad below, to save some time)
1 tspn coriander seeds
1 brown onion, roughly chopped
60 mls fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp mild paprika
2 tspn turmeric
Fry the cumin and the coriander seeds in a pan over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes, Add these seeds along with the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until finely chopped. It can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, I just cover the top with some olive oil.
150 gm almonds
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place almonds, sesame seeds, ground cumin, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of the honey in a bowl; toss to coat. Place mixture on a tray lined with baking paper and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden. Let cool.
CARROT & ALMOND SALAD
½ cup orange juice
1 tbsp honey
4 carrots, shredded
¼ cup currants, soaked in boiling water
2 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
½ cup coriander leaves
150 gm honeyed almonds (see above)
Place orange juice and remaining honey in a bowl, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and whisk to combine. Add the shredded carrots, drained currants, cumin seeds, and coriander, and toss to coat. Slice lamb backstrap and serve with the carrot salad and honeyed almonds.
*As a footnote I want to give credit to someone else for this recipe but I genuinely can't remember where it came from. I wrote it down in note form ages ago - I must've found it online. I've made it that many times it kind of feels like my own, but I know I got it from somewhere else. I think maybe MindFood because I love, love, love their recipes... Please accept my apologies if you invented this and let me know so I can credit you xx