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Monday, March 3, 2008

Moroccan Honey Lamb

Early last year, after moving house, I was buying recipe base sachets pretty much at random at a little corner shop, and picked up one for a honey lamb casserole. This Moroccan-inspired recipe base was absolutely divine, but I’ve never been able to find it again. So I looked up the ingredients on the manufacturer’s website, and I’ve managed to recreate it. It’s a smooth, slightly spicy and very aromatic bake, incredibly easy to make.

Serves 4, but easy to adapt.


4 lamb shoulder chops (preferably the sort with the little round bone in them, but you could use any lamb chops)
100mL tomato paste (tomato concentrate)
150mL honey
Juice of ½ lemon or orange
2 teaspoons dried garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground Chinese Five Spice (contains cinnamon, star anise, clove, fennel and pepper)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
Dash of salt
Ground pepper to taste
1 brown onion
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)


Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F.

1. Cut the onion into rings and spread them out in a shallow microwave dish. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish and microwave uncovered on medium high for five minutes.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomato paste with 400mL water. Stir until it forms an even mixture.

3. In a small jug, combine the honey with 300mL of very hot or boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add to the tomato mixture and stir in thoroughly.

4. Add lemon/orange juice to the tomato mixture.

5. Once onion has finished microwaving, pour off the water into the tomato mixture and reserve onion rings.

6. Add all of the spices to the tomato mixture (including salt and pepper) and whisk or mix thoroughly until spices are evenly distributed.

7. Place the cornflour in a dry glass or jug, add 200mL of cool water and stir firmly until cornflour is dissolved. Add to tomato mixture and stir thoroughly.

8. Take a casserole or baking dish large enough to spread out all of the chops. Pour a small amount of the tomato mixture into the base, enough to cover the bottom of the dish. Arrange onion rings across base, then place chops on top (do not overlap unless necessary). Pour all of remaining tomato mixture into the dish. It should cover the chops completely.

9. Bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hour. It will fill the house with the exotic spicy aroma while it’s cooking – delicious!

Serve a chop with sauce and onion over rice, with some green veggies (I had green peas).

I made the full amount of this along with four serves of rice, and froze the chops, onion, sauce and rice together in individual serves for future easy meals. There was a lot of sauce left over which I’ve frozen to use as a stock base for a future casserole or stir-fry.

PS: The sides of your casserole dish won't be as messy as they are in the pic . . . unless you're like me and repeatedly drop the lid into the sauce while serving!


Ivayla said...

Would that work in a crockpot? I don't have a casserole dish :/

Christine said...

I'm sure it would work in a crockpot, you'd just have to cook it for longer I imagine. The meat should be very tender and easy to cut when it's ready, so just cook it until then :-)

Siri said...


And I can't have it!

Christine said...

I can't think of any way to make this a vegetarian main dish, but I'll bet you could make vegetables in this type of sauce as a side dish or even for mains.

I'd try a mixture of potato, sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, swede and onion pieces as a bake - I reckon it'd work well. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

Siri said...

Actually, that's not a bad idea and that's fairly close to what we do eat as main dishes - different veggies with a legume cooked in a pot. I'll have to try it - mainly because I think we have all of those (besides pumpkin) at home. Hmm. It takes using the oven, though, something I've discovered I'm not good at it. Hand me a bunch of items to be cooked on the stovetop and you get dinner. Give me a casserole and X is in there for an hour trying to salvage it.