Lamb Mechoui Recipe

Mechoui is a traditional North African dish, known for its succulent roasted lamb, fragrant spices, and the smoky goodness of an open-air grill. Hailing from the rich culinary traditions of Tangier, Lamb Mechoui encapsulates the essence of Moroccan cuisine and the art of savoring tender, slow-cooked lamb. Join us as we guide you through crafting this delectable masterpiece, inviting you to savor the authentic taste of Tangier’s cherished culinary heritage.


For the Lamb Marinade:
  • 1 whole leg of lamb (around 5-6 pounds)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
For the Mechoui:
  • Charcoal grill or open fire pit
  • 4-5 pieces of natural wood for smoking (apple, cherry, or citrus wood work well)
  • Basting brush
  • Salt and cumin for seasoning


  1. In a bowl, combine the minced garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground paprika, ground cayenne pepper, ground cinnamon, salt, black pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to create the lamb marinade.
  2. Place the whole leg of lamb in a large, shallow dish and rub it with the marinade, making sure it’s evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight for the best flavor.
  3. Prepare your charcoal grill or open fire pit. You’ll need a medium-high heat for grilling.
  4. While the coals are heating, soak the wood pieces in water for about 30 minutes.
  5. Season the lamb with salt and cumin just before grilling.
  6. Place the soaked wood pieces on the coals to create smoke.
  7. Grill the marinated leg of lamb over the open fire, turning it occasionally to ensure even cooking. This can take 2-3 hours, depending on the size of the lamb and your preferred level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness; it should read 135-140°F (57-60°C) for medium-rare.
  8. While grilling, occasionally baste the lamb with any remaining marinade.
  9. Once the lamb is done, remove it from the grill and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  10. Carve and serve the Lamb Mechoui in the traditional Moroccan style with flatbreads and a drizzle of olive oil.

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