Tasty Lamb for Less: S.F.'s Halal Butchers
This week I bought a 2.5-pound bone-in lamb rib roast for $10. I told the butcher, who didn't speak much English, to leave it whole. He took it over to the bandsaw anyway, and thinking he intended to slice it into chops, I called out to him to stop. I took the roast home, rubbed it with two tablespoons of ras el-hanout (recipe follows) mixed with two teaspoons of salt, wrapped it in plastic, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, roasted it at 350 degrees to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, wrapped it loosely in foil to hold the heat, and let it sit for ten minutes before serving.
Ah, well. My guests had some extra entertainment, the lamb was a hit, and I learned two lessons: Let the butcher cut the chine (I knew that, damn it), and if you're going to break bones with your cleaver, do it on a board that sits flat on the counter, not on one with feet.
San Francisco's Halal Butchers
Queen of Sheba, 1100 Sutter (at Larkin), 567-4322
Salama Halal Meat, 604 Geary (at Jones), 474-0359
For customer reviews and information on halal butchers elsewhere, see zabihah.com.
6 tsp. ground coriander
8 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. herbs de Provence
2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. hot chile powder
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. ground anise
Mix thoroughly. Makes about half a cup (enough to fill a tall spice jar).