There Moroccan lamb chops are typically served at Jewish Sephardic family reunions and holidays.The ingredients used are traditional Moroccan herbs and spices, such as cilantro, paprika and cumin, but also include typically Spanish ingredients such as saffron and lemon. This mix of flavors perfectly represents the Jews of Morocco’s Spanish roots and the influence that Morocco has had on their cuisine. The chops are first seared and then braised in the oven, making these tender and succulent. Make sure to save the sauce to pour over the chops when serving the dish.
Marinated Lamb chops
- 12 lamb chops
- Juice of 3 lemons
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 garlic clove
- 400 ml water
- 2/3 cup white wine
- 5 saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Mix the lamb chops with the marinade: juice of 3 lemons, parsley, cilantro, mint, paprika, cumin, 3 minced garlic cloves, and one teaspoon salt. Marinate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
Heat oil in large oven-safe pan with lid or cast-iron dutch oven over medium-high heat, then brown chops on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes total. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In the same pan, decrease the heat to medium, and sauté the sliced onions until softened and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add the remaining garlic clove and cook for one minute.
Add 400 ml water, 2/3 cup white wine, 5 saffron threads, 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Return chops to the pan and adjust seasoning to taste.
Cover the pan and place in the oven at 350 F for 1 1/2 hours, checking liquid in the pan every 30 minutes. Remove the lid the last 15 minutes to allow the chops to brown a bit but make sure.
If there is too much sauce left in the pan, you can reduce it on the stove over medium heat.
Allow the chops and the sauce to come to room temperature and place in the refrigerator separately, until serving time. You can remove any fat from the sauce once it has cooled sufficiently.
Serve with a garnish of fresh herbs.