Moroccan lamb shak with wheatberry kernels

Moroccan lamb shank with wheatberry kernels


Slow-cooked lamb shanks with wheatberry is a dish cooked the same way as Moroccan trotters recipe. In fact, you could make it a vegan dish by omitting any form of rich meat and just use chickpeas instead.

There was a old lady I used to visit when I was still living in Morocco and she would serve the wheatberry on their own, accompanied with a classic Moroccan tomato and cucumber salad. 

Being from a modest background, she always apologised everytime she served it, but all what I had in mind was ” can I finish the plate without looking bad? is there enough for everyone?”. 

My old friend was twice my age actually, so I used to call her “khalti” or Auntie. She used to prepare her wheatberry at night and serve it the next day, very reminiscent of Dafina or Skhina, a Moroccan-Jewish dish for Shabbat.


Moroccan lamb shak with wheatberry kernels

Moroccan lamb shak with wheatberry kernels. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Khalti was again another person who can tell you stories about Muslim and Jewish Moroccans living side by side and growing together looking after each others’ kids and properties. 

The result of this symbiose was a transfer of recipes and habits which transcend generations up to now. 


Moroccan lamb shank with wheatberry

Slow-cooked lamb shanks with wheatberry is a dish cooked the same way as Moroccan trotters recipe. In fact, you could make it a vegan dish by omitting any form of rich meat and just use chickpeas instead.

  • 150 g wheatberry kernels (washed and left to soak in cold water overnight)
  • 1 lamb shank
  • 1 onion (medium, finely chopped)
  • 1 tbps ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika (optional)
  • ½ tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt (to taste)
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic (3 crushed and 3 with skin on)
  1. Mix the spices and grated garlic with oil

  2. Mix the drained wheatberry kernels with 2/3 of the spice mix. Mix well so all kerners are coated. You will particularely need to do this if you cook them in a cheesecloth pouch (We usually do that).

  3. Prick the lamp shanks with the knife and thoroughly rub the meat.

  4. Use a heavy pot to cook on top of a stove/cooker, in a oven or over charcoal. Pressure cooker will do as you halve the time.

  5. Place the chopped onions in the bottom of the pot (it shouldn't stick whilst cooking), Add the lamp shank to one side and the wheatberry kernels in a pouch next to it.

  6. Depending on pots and methods of cooking, you may need less.

Slow-cooking in an earthenware pot

  1. Add enough water to reach no more than half of the lamb shank and seal the pot.

  2. Cook for 90-120 min on medium heat or for 2h30-3 hours in a 170 degrees oven. The time depends on the quality of the meat and its thickness.

  3. Remove whichever cooks first and make sure all liquid has evaporated before serving.

Cooking in a pressure cooker

  1. You will need less water to cook and may need to cook this dish under 1 hour depending on the type of pressure cooking and setting used.


  1. Serve warm

  • If you choose to prepare Moroccan wheatberry kernels on the vegan side, use presoaked chickpeas (not canned).
  • Depending on the origin and type of chickpeas, adjust the cooking time. 
  • When cooked without meat, this recipe can be served as a side dish.



Slow-cooked beef tongue Moroccan style

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Moroccans have 2 majors ways of cooking the tongue: steam and serve with salt and cumin or cook it “mchermel-style”. The latter dish is bolder and there are days where I can’t just have it any other way.


Slow-cooked Moroccan beef tongue. – Credit @Nada Kiffa

Can I convince you to give this recipe a go? You could be fighting off with your brain which command you to feel squeamish about tongue or any offal for that matter.

If you like pulled meat, tender and falling off the bone, then Moroccan slow-cooked tongue fits the bill.


Ways of cooking Moroccan beef tongue recipe

Moroccan beef tongue recipe required slow-cooking in a dutch oven (2 hours), a well sealed Tangia-style clay urn (up to 4 hours) or a pressure cooker (1 hour).

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Moroccan slow-cooked beef tongue

  • 1 kg tongue (beef's tongue, trimmed)
  • 2 tbsp coriander (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (grated or crushed )
  • 1 onion (Spanish or brown, small, chopped)
  • 1 tomato (grated and only pulp kept)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (or slightly more)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika (paprika paste will do)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp harissa (to taste, optional)

For finishing and garnishing

  • green olives
  • ¼ preserved lemon (only the skin/rind)
  • 1 ½ tsp white vinegar
  1. Watch the video for all steps to cook Moroccan beef tongue with chermoula

Moroccan slow-cooked beef tongue keeps well in the freezer. 

You could also substitute the tongue for oxtail or the neck. They require less cooking time and are equally flavoursome.


Moroccan slow-cooked meat with cumin, over a bed of rice.

Moroccan slow-cooked meat with cumin -L’ham mkoumen


L’ham mkoumen is one of the simplest and tastiest recipes I’ve recently discovered and it comes straight from the Marrakech culinary repertoire.

What’s in the name?

Mkoumen means “with cumin” and l’ham refers to meat which as to be falling off the bone with hardly any sauce. It’s so simple but it surely is incredibly addictive. My family loved it.

Moroccan slow-cooked meat with cumin, over a bed of rice.

Moroccan slow-cooked meat. Credit @Nada Kiffa

It’s somewhere between Tangia (iconic bachlor’s dish from Taroundant, Marrakech but also other cities) and M’quila (a fast option to replace khlii). Add a whole preserved lemon in wedges and you have a version of tangia.

I cooked my L’ham mkoumen in a dutch oven. I started it over a cooker for 15 min and placed it for 2 hours in the oven. It was so delicious!

Because the dish is all about meat, it’s a standard in Morocco to serve such things with salads on the side to make up for a complete meal.

No sauce please

Lham mkoumen is served almost as a confit of meat, dry with hardly any sauce, hence the little amount of water added to it. It should be slow-cooked in a closed tagine or in a heavy pot that can go to the oven.

In the pictures below, you will see some preserved lemon on top of the meat. That’s because I couldn’t resist adding half preserved lemon with the pulp, it really tasted like tangia! Succulent!


Serves 4 
Prep: 10 min – cooking: 2 hours

  • 1 Kg of meat on the bone (osso bucco cuts will be perfect or leg of lamb in chuncks)
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • A good pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tsp of salt (smen being already salted)
  • 1/2 tsp of ground coriander seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp of smen (Moroccan clarified and preserved butter)
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil
  • 200 ml of water
A bit of meat, a bit of garlic, a bit of rice with that tiny bit of thick
reduced sauce. Heaven!


Rub the meat with ground cumin, ground coriander and smen. Leave for an 1 hour and preferably overnight.
In a dutch oven or a heavy clay pot, add the other ingredients. Start the cooking on medium heat  over a cooker for 10 minutes. Transfer to the oven for about 2 hours at 200 degrees C for 10 min then bring it down to 170 degrees C for the rest of the cooking. At 90 min, check the tenderness of the meat and the amount of liquid left in the pot.
Serve with steamed rice or hot bread and a salad on the side.

Moroccan mhammer with its onion topping daghmira

Braised and roasted of beef/lamb with a confit of onions – اللحم المحمر التقليدي

Recette en Français plus en bas

Braised and roasted of beef/lamb with a confit of onions

Is that going to become your new Sunday roast dinner or lunch?

Braised and roasted of beef/lamb with a confit of onions consists of a slow-cooked meat to tenderness and finished off in the over for a layer of crispiness, offering a contrast all the way through.

If you are a meat lover, this should be a version of heaven for you as it is. However, my favorite part of the dish is the confit of onions that comes with it and I tend to make loads and indulge.

To know more about this recipe, please visit this link to find all the text about it.

Let’s make the recipe!



  • 1.5 kg lamb or beef shoulder with bones, cut into 5 large pieces (can also use leg or rack of lamb)
  • 500 g of yellow onions, finely sliced or chopped

For the Spice Rub

  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smen, Moroccan aged butter (or ghee)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper

For Braising

  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 85 to 236 ml water
  • 2 to 3 tbsp oil, mixed olive and vegetable oil

For Garnish

  • 100 g almonds blanched and fried or green/purple olives

How it’s done

Watch my video here;

Viande braisée au confit d’oignon
وصفة اللحم المحمر الفاسي مدغمر و منسم بالسمن و الزعفران


Les ingrédients

  • 1.5 kg de viande de bœuf ou agneau
  • 500 g  d’oignons

Épices et aromatiques

  • 4 gousses d’ail,
  • 1 cc de smen
  • 1 1/2 cs paprika
  • 1 cc sel
  • 1 cc gingembre
  • 1/2 tsp poivre noir
  • Saffron
  • 3 cs huile neutre
  • Un peu d’eau


  • Olives ou amandes frites


Pour visualiser la méthode de préparation, suivez le lien ou cliquez sur la video: