Sunday, 6 March 2011

Moroccan confit of meat and dried raisins: Mrouzia

Prepared on the occasion of Eid El Kebir, Mrouzia is a sweet and warm dish that keeps well in refrigerator for a few days in the freezer for months. 

When I used to live on my own, I used lamb chops for a faster version which was equally delicious.

The use of white dried raisins is not traditional but It turned out nice as well, it actually cuts on the sweetness.

In the tradition of Fez and Fassi people who do not like squander, Mrouzia is a dish where the remaining bones from sheep or cow were traditionally used instead of meat that would have been cut in all pieces and used for other recipes. The bones, with a bit of meat stuck in them, will be marinated and kept for hours until they are ready to be cooked. 

Indeed, this wonderful blend of spices brings this dish to another level and makes it a wonderful dining experience.

Mrouzia was kept in massive clay jars for at least 2 months. The reason it lasted that long is because the dish was actually cooked in a confit-style, over medium heat and until only oil was left and all water would have evaporated. How did they know it was perfectly cooked? They used to dip in a bit of fabric or braided cotton then see if it can hold a flame. If it does, that would mean water has evaporated and it will be safe for a few weeks without fridge (no fridges back then the way we know them now).

Since then, nearly every region in Morocco makes Mrouzia. They even started putting in proper cuts of meat. Chuncks of meat won't last as much as bones with a bit of meat did before, This dish can be kept in the freezer and warmed when needed.

The secret to this recipe Mrouzia is the use of a good mix of Ras El Hanout in which the meat will be marinated for at least 12 hours. To help spreading the spices correctly, spread a good tablespoon of olive oil in your hands and start massaging the meat with the spices.

Today, I'm posting a Mrouzia with less oil and sugar, more meat and yet, still packed with incredible flavours...

For 1 to 2 persons
Prep: 5 min/ Cooking : about 1 heure (to 3 hours depending on the meat shanks)

- 2 lamb chuncks (or 400 g of lamb chops for a faster version).
- 2 tbsps + 1tsp of Ras el hanout 
- ½ medium size oignon finely chopped (optional but I like it)
- A pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 to 3 tbsp of oil
- 1 tsp of smen
- ½ tsp of salt
- 1 heaped tbsp of ground ginger
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- 100 g de dried raisins (dark brown)
- 1 heaped tbsp of caster sugar
- 1 to 2 tbsp of liquid honey


In a pot, mix the spices ( 1 tbsp of ras el hanout, 1 tsp of turmeric, 1tsp ground ginger,) with 1-2 tbsp of oil. Brush the meat with this mixture and massage it well. Allow marinating overnight up to 12 hours.

The next day, put in the meat, the spices, smen. Cover with enough water and let simmer over medium heat, covered. Add water if needed until the meat has become tender.

Add the honey, a tsp of Ras el hanout, raisins previously soaked in water and washed. Cary on cooking while watching the process carefully.

The sauce should be reduced and thickened after 20 to 30 minutes or so.

Sprinkle the sugar. Caramelize for about 5 to 10 min and keep stiring.

Serve hot (always), garnished with blanched and fried almonds.

1 comment:

  1. Looks and sounds delicious!
    Your photo and its’ source have been featured on the World Food Guide website:


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