18 October 2018

Mechoui: A Traditional Moroccan Meat Lover’s Treat

If you love lamb and traditional Moroccan foods, mechoui is a dish that is a must-try. While the term can have slightly alternative meanings throughout North Africa, here in Morocco, mechoui refers to the cooking of a whole lamb or a sheep in a clay oven over wood.

Here, we discover this tasty and hearty meat dish, how it’s made and what it goes well with.

The Makings Of Mechoui

As mentioned previously, mechoui consists of a roasted sheep or lamb. With the exception of the kidneys, the organs of the stomach cavity are removed and spices such as ras el hanout and saffron are used for seasoning.

Once the meat has become marinated, the stomach cavity is stitched back together. Afterward, the lamb is skewered on a tree branch and is cooked next to a pile of embers (not directly over them since the fat could char the meat). The spindle is rotated occasionally so that the meat gets cooked evenly on all sides.

The lamb is cooked in a gentle manner, allowing for the interior to cook at the same time as the exterior. To add a crispy texture to the Mechoui, the meat is brushed with butter or oil and is gradually brought closer to the embers so that it takes on an amber colour.

Typical Ingredients For Mechoui

Mechoui Culture

Like many traditional Moroccan foods, mechoui is served in a unique fashion that’s deeply rooted in local culture. It is often served at the beginning of a meal, which is usually a feast or diffa.

The host initiates the serving of mechoui by taking pieces of the meat with his right hand and offering it to their guests. Due to the tenderness of the meat, diners don’t need cutlery to eat mechoui since they can detach pieces with minimal effort.

In Marrakech, there is a place known as Mechoui Alley, where you will find pits in the ground used for the slow-roasting of lambs. The most skilled butchers who have refined barbecuing chops will roast lambs to entertain and of course, wet the appetites of their customers.

Mechoui At Le Trou Au Mur

At Le Trou Au Mur, you can experience mechoui for yourself with a few options. We serve mechoui in three ways: 1) The leg, which is one of the leaner cuts, 2) the shoulder, a more traditional cut and, 3) the saddle, which is tender.

With our own traditional clay mechoui oven on view, melt-in-the-mouth mechuoi roasts will be a feature, but no less so than a variety of carefully researched old family recipes rarely seen outside private homes.

Regardless of your preference for meat flavourings and texture, our chefs can satisfy your soul with our rich and delicious Mechoui!

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Mechoui: A Traditional Moroccan Meat Lover’s Treat