Moroccan spiced lamb breast with herb couscous
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Moroccan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Lamb breast is an extremely cheap cut that benefits from long slow cooking, making it ideal for a sous vide machine. The Morroccan spices really have time to penetrate the meat during the long cook time and make for a delicious, warming winter meal.
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tbs sea salt flakes
  • ¼ tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp ras-el-hanout
  • 1 Tbs coriander seed
  • 1 Tbs cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbs thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • a thick slice of butter
  • 250g quick-cook couscous
  • 375ml hot water or stock
  • A handful of fresh chives
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves
  • A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper
  1. Fill the sous vide machine and pre-heat to 55C.
  2. To make the spice rub, peel the garlic cloves and lightly crush them together with the salt using a pestle and mortar. Add the paprika, cumin seeds, coriander seed, ras el hanout and thyme leaves and continue to crush together. Gradually add the oil so as to end up with a thickish paste. Melt the butter in a small pan and stir into the spice paste.
  3. Carefully remove any string or elastic tying your lamb belly roll together and flatten the meat (you may find that it is actually several pieces of flattish meat rolled together. Spread all sides generously with the spice paste.
  4. Re-roll the meat and tie securely into a roll. Place the meat into a heavy duty plastic pouch and vacuum seal it. Place the sealed pouch into the sous vide machine, close the lid and set the timer to 12 hours.
  5. When the meat is ready, turn off the machine and prepare the couscous. Finely chop the herbs. Place the couscous into a large bowl and add the hot water/stock. Cover with a plate and allow to stand for 10 minutes or so, then fluff up with a fork and stir in the chopped herbs. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.
  6. Remove the pouch containing the meat from the sous vide machine. Cut open the bag and remove the meat, reserving the juices. If you want a crispy exterior, place the meat in a roasting tin in a very hot oven for 10 minutes, turning frequently till browned - but I did not bother with this.
  7. If you want gravy, spoon or pour off as much of the fat as possible from the juices and heat the remainder in a small saucepan and thicken with a little cornflour mixed with cold water.
  8. Serve the lamb sliced on the couscous, alongside slices of roasted aubergine.
I wanted my lamb medium rare and still a little pink, but if you want yours to be medium, you need a temperature of about 60C and a cooking time of 12-15 hours; and if you want it well done you will need a temperature of 65-70C and anything from 15-20 hours.

A similar result can be obtained by seasoning the meat as described and roasting it skin side up in a large roasting dish in a hot oven (200C) for 20 minutes to brown. Then add about 500ml of lamb or vegetable stock (or half stock, half white wine) and cover the dish tightly with foil. Turn the oven down to 140C and sow cook for 3 hours until the meat can easily be pierced with a fork. I also like to remove the foil and grill under a hot grill for the last 10 mins or so to crisp up the skin a little.
Recipe by Cooksister | Food, Travel, Photography at