Ras el hanout is the ultimate spice blend. Its aggressive punch stands up well to the assertive flavor of lamb, so this is not a shy dish. If you have trouble finding ras el hanout at your local store, it’s available online at kalustyans.com, but if you live in New York and haven’t visited their store in Murray Hill, go now—it’s spice heaven.
Yield: 10 servings
Place lamb in a large bowl and rub ras el hanout over entire piece of meat. Sprinkle garlic over lamb and add olive oil. Cover, refrigerate, and allow lamb to marinate over night.
Take out lamb from refrigerator about 45 minutes before grilling. Preheat grill to medium-high. Wipe excess garlic and oil from lamb. Season with salt. Grill lamb, turning occasionally, until a meat thermometer registers 130˚F. Allow meat to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with sliced preserved lemons.
Wash and dry lemons. Cut an X into lemon lengthwise, but don’t slice through the fruit entirely. Instead, leave about 1-2 centimeters intact. Generously pack lemon with salt and place into a sterile, airtight container.
Repeat process with 6 additional lemons. Place cinnamon stick and peppercorns in center of container, in between lemons. Add the juice of 3 remaining lemons to the jar, and seal tightly. Let stand for a month, until lemons are very soft. To serve, slice lemons thinly. Once preserved, refrigerate lemons, which will keep for several months.