Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Mechouli (Moroccan Barbecued Lamb) and Greek Salad

Cookbook Challenge Week #18

Book: Food Safari by Maeve O’Meara (recipe by Aziz Bakalla) Theme: Barbecue Recipe: Mechouli

Still playing catch up with my Cookbook Challenge. Since Summer started, we have been quite keen on doing simple grilled meat and salad for dinner. I know it’s not a particularly new concept but we aren’t big meat eaters but we have worked out that a bit of cold meat salad is also quite good for lunch the next day and we haven’t looked back since.

Because our barbecue is actually MIA (we took it up to Josh’s country house for our engagement party – yes you read it right, our engagement party which happened in 2007 and it’s still sitting there unused), we have been ‘barbecuing’ on our iron cast grill. Cast iron grill is great for indoor grilling, it holds a lot of heat and gives you that ‘barbecue’ taste.

As I might have mentioned it again and again, get all your cast iron cookware at camping stores rather than homeware stores. The price difference is enormous.

So back to the recipe! Our new favourite cut of lamb for barbecuing is the lamb back straps – which aren’t available at our local supermarkets (ie. no last minute dinner to be made lamb back straps!) but it’s beautiful, lean and tender that we keep buying it again and again from our local market. If you haven’t tried this cut, I strongly recommend it.

Mechouli (Moroccan Barbecued Lamb) for 2

  1. 2 pieces of lamb back straps (about 150g. each)
  2. 1/2 tbsp of ground cumin
  3. 1/2 tbsp of ground sweet paprika
  4. 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  5. 3-4 stems of fresh coriander, chopped
  6. 3 stems of fresh parsley, chopped
  7. a few squeezes of lemon juice (about 1/2 tbsp)
  8. a drizzle of olive oil
  9. salt and pepper to taste

Add the lamb and marinade ingredients. Use your hands to mix the lamb and ensure that the marinade evenly coats the meat. Really just go in and use your fingers! Cover and leave to marinate at (Melbourne) room temperature for 15-30 minutes before cooking immediately. It’s important that if you marinate meat at room temperature, you must cook and eat it straight away. If not, refridgerate the marinated meat for an hour. It does take longer to marinate but you can keep the uncooked marinated meat for longer.

Heat your grill pan on high heat and wait until the grill pan is hot (about 3-5 minutes), add the lamb and grill about 2-3 minutes on each side to your liking. I like medium rare best.

Our What-ever-is-on-hands Greek Salad

This isn’t really Greek salad, really. But it’s relatively close. We like to stock the fridge with nice salad ingredients and have it with dinner. But for this time, this is how we came up with the salad:

  1. 3-4 leaves of baby cos lettuce, torn
  2. 2-3 leaves of radicchio, torn
  3. 1 ripe tomato, sliced into cubes
  4. 1/2 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
  5. 2 stems of parsley, chopped
  6. 3 cubes of marinated goat cheese
  7. 1/8 of red onion, finely sliced
  8. 2 thick slices of sour dough bread, cut into cubes, drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil and toasted


  1. 1.5 parts of extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 part of balsamic vinegar
  3. 1 tsp of fresh oregano leaves, crushed (or 1/2 tsp of dried ones)
  4. salt and pepper

Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour over salad ingredients.

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