You may have heard the saying that if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.
This is a seasonal proverb about the changing weather in March. At the beginning of March, there are still days of late winter chill (unpleasant and fierce like a lion) but by the end of March, we hope to welcome warmer spring weather (pleasant and mild like a lamb).
In Marrakech, Morocco, however, March comes in and goes out like a lamb. So what better way to celebrate the beautiful weather of Marrakech than to eat lamb! Of course, we don’t need an excuse here. There are lots of tajine recipes that feature lamb, too many to try all of them in a month. We suggest, though, to make it a special marker for March, that you try mechoui if you are in Marrakech in the month of March (or any time!).
Mechoui is a slow-roasted, barbecued lamb meat that is worth the trip to the Marrakech medina to try. Traditionally, mechoui is a whole lamb roasted on a spit or in a pit in the ground. It’s easy enough to make a lamb tajine at home. Roasting a whole lamb over a fire or in a pit is less simple. So do yourself a favor and eat out for this meal.
In the Marrakech medina, down one of the many lanes off the main square is a place called Mechoui Alley. Here, there are pits in the ground where skilled butchers with barbecuing talents will roast whole lambs for their customers’ enjoyment. They have plenty of work following one of the biggest festivals in Morocco, the Eid Al-Kabir, when all households who can afford it will sacrifice a sheep. Even those of us who don’t bring them whole animals can buy just a plate of their meat.
So what are you waiting for? Head down to Mechoui Alley in the Marrakech medina for a feast of lamb to celebrate March!