Moroccan Spiced Rack of Lamb with Couscous

A wonderful warm and spicy Moroccan dish perfect for a cosy dinner for two.


  • for the harissa paste - makes about 150ml:
  • 25 g dried large red chillies
  • 2 tblsp coriander seeds
  • 1 generous tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic (peeled)
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp ground paprika for the rack of lamb
  • 1 prepared rack of lamb (2–3 cutlets per person depending on their size and your appetite!)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • for the couscous
  • 100 g couscous
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 150 ml light chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tblsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 red onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 50 g flaked almonds, toasted
  • to serve
  • greek yoghurt (optional)


  1. To make the harissa paste, split the chillies in half lengthways, remove and discard the seeds and soften the chillies in boiling water for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, dry-fry the coriander and cumin seeds in a frying pan on a medium to high heat for about 1 minute, tossing regularly, until the spices just begin to smoke and toast. Then grind in a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle.
  3. Place the garlic, salt, ground spices and the drained red chillies in a food processor and whiz to a paste, slowly adding the olive oil until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).
  5. Next, prepare the rack of lamb. Score the fat lightly in a criss-cross pattern, but without cutting through to the meat.
  6. Place the lamb in a roasting tray, spread a generous tablespoon of the harissa paste over the fat and press it down onto the fat with your hands or a spoon.
  7. Roast for 20 minutes for rare to medium, 25 minutes for well done for a small rack or 30–32 minutes for a larger rack. After 10 minutes, cover the rack with a sheet of tin foil to prevent the harissa paste from burning.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous. Put it into a bowl, rub in the olive oil so that the grains are coated, and pour over the hot stock.
  9. Stir and then put a plate or saucepan lid on top and leave to stand for 5 minutes, until the couscous has absorbed all the stock.
  10. Add the parsley, mint, onion and most of the toasted flaked almonds, stir well and season.
  11. Once the lamb is cooked, turn off the oven and leave the meat to rest for 5–10 minutes.
  12. Carve it by cutting through the meat between the bones to give each person 2–3 cutlets (depending on the cutlet size).
  13. Spoon the couscous on to warmed plates and arrange the lamb cutlets on top.
  14. Scatter with the remaining toasted flaked almonds, and serve with a spoonful of Greek yogurt, if you wish.


This recipe and many more are available from Rachel's book Rachel's Food for Living published by Harper Collins


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