Recipe by Elana Heideman

Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Date Barbecue Sauce

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Meat Meat
Easy Easy
6 Servings

No Allergens specified

Al ha’esh (The Hebrew term for BBQ) Israeli style is not for the faint-hearted. Here is a recipe for you to try, using lamb and a date-inspired barbecue sauce. Perfect for a Tu Bishvat, Sukkot or Yom Haatzmaut BBQ! For more delicious main dishes perfect for your Rosh Hashanah menu, see our recipe roundup.



  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin, such as Pereg

  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons sweet paprika

  • 2 and 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • salt, to taste

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1- 5-pound butterflied leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat

  • 8 cloves garlic – 4 thinly sliced, 4 minced

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup Tuscanini Tomato Paste

  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth

  • 2 tablespoons Manischewitz Honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron, crumbled into 1 tablespoon of water

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 8 large pitted Medjool dates, minced (3 ounces)

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or Tuscanini Lemon Juice

Olive Relish

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Wine Pairing

Shiloh Secret Reserve Petit Verdot


Prepare the Lamb


In a small bowl, combine the coriander with the cumin, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and one teaspoon of black pepper. Set aside three tablespoons of the spice mixture for the date barbecue sauce.


Stir one teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of the olive oil into the remaining spice mixture.


Using a small, sharp knife, make 1/2-inch-deep slits all over the lamb. Press the garlic slices into the slits. Coat the lamb with the spiced oil, making sure to rub it in the slits. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six hours.


In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the onion and minced garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.


Add the reserved three tablespoons of the spice mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about four minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for one minute.


Add the beef broth, honey, saffron water and cayenne pepper and simmer over high heat until the sauce is slightly thickened, about eight minutes.


Add the minced dates and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they break down and the sauce is thick and glossy, about 15 minutes.


Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and season the sauce with salt and black pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup of the date barbecue sauce for glazing the lamb.


Heat up your grill.


Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and lightly season with salt and black pepper.


Grill over moderate heat, turning once, until the lamb is nicely charred all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the leg registers 135 degrees Fahrenheit, about 15 minutes per side. During the last three minutes of grilling, brush the reserved 1/2 cup of date barbecue sauce all over the lamb.


Transfer the grilled lamb to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.


In a small bowl, toss the olives with the mint and cilantro.


Slice the lamb across the grain and serve with the date barbecue sauce and olive relish.


To prepare in advance, the date barbecue sauce can be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to three days.
Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Date Barbecue Sauce

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