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Grilled Lamb Shoulder with Chermoula Marinade
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Chermoula is a North African marinade made with harissa (itself a spice mixture), herbs, lemon juice and olive oil. It adds a wonderful spicy flavor to grilled lamb. You can make your own harissa per the instructions below or buy it at the grocery store or a market that carries Israeli and Arab products. I have modified this recipe since kosher leg of lamb is difficult to get. In it’s place, I have improvised a lamb shoulder roast. Have the butcher slice the shoulder into steaks to save yourself further trouble. Prep time includes marinating.

Serves: 6

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Sephardic Meat Entree

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For the chermoula:
1 medium onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tsp. chopped flat-leaved parsley
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground saffron
1/2 teaspoon harissa
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbl. lemon juice

For the harissa:
3 oz. dried red chili peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coriander
1 tbl. olive oil

2 lb. lamb shoulder steaks


  1. Prepare the chermoula marinade: Mix onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, saffron, harissa, olive oil and lemon juice together in a bowl. Whisk together vigorously with a fork and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. To make harissa: Remove the seeds and stems from the chili peppers. Place into a bowl and gently pour boiling water over the peppers. Add enough water to cover and let stand, covered, for 30 minutes then drain. Combine chili peppers, garlic, salt, coriander and olive oil in a food processor and blend to make a paste. Refrigerate excess harissa in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
  3. Spread chermoula into both sides of lamb and marinate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Grill the lamb for 30 to 45 minutes over a medium flame, turning frequently.
  5. Cut steaks into thick slices (cut across grain) and serve.

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