Last week, I received this great little book from Quadrille Books to review and tried out the Rack and braised shoulder of lamb ras el hanout and served it with the warm couscous salad. Maze is one of the Gordon Ramsay’s empire of restaurants in London and Jason Atherton was the head chef, who has now left to do his own thing. This book is a collection of the best dishes from Maze and the recipes have been written in a clever way and is very accesible for the home cook.
Even though the list of ingredients seemed a bit dauntin, the recipe was very simple to follow and not overly complicated steps in it at all. I did miss out the white onion puree and cofit baby leeks part of the recipe.
The sauce was the most complicated part to this recipe but worked out amazingly well. I substituted the white wine vinegar for the shrry vinegar as that was all I had at home but the end result was stunning. It was the first time that I had used ras el hanout and harissa paste and the use of these 2 in the sauce resulted in a spicy and tangy sauce to go with the meat and couscous.
For the lamb, the supermarket had run out of racks of lamb by the time I got there late afternoon, so I had to settle for lamb chops, which when seasoned with the same spice was so easy to do and delicious.
As for the couscous which can be often so boring and bland, adding ras el hanout to this and I substituted stock for water, made it unbelievably moreish. I also added some balsamic roasted vegetable to the couscous just to add a bit more veg to the whole dish.
The result was a total triumph with the dinner guest duly impressed with the flavours and everyone had seconds.
Was pleasantly surprised at how easy this book is to follow as I expected another poncy Michelin star effort with extremely complicated steps to follow. The recipe worked and it is done in a way that any average home cook can follow and recreate. So big thumbs up.