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Pit Roasted Mechoui in Marrakesh

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Essentials - Araar Wood and Mud
Pit Roasted Mechoui in Marrakesh

Araar Wood and Mud Are Essential Tools for Pit-Roasted Mechoui

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

Eyyachi fires its pits with the wood of the Araar (also known as the Sandarac, Juniper gum or Thuya) tree. This small cypress-like tree is native to the Atlas Mountains and is favored for roasting mechoui not only for the subtle flavor it imparts, but also because it produces relatively little smoke while smoldering. The beautiful and exotic-looking burl of Araar trees is used by Moroccan artisans to make fragrant wood crafts, boxes and other items.

Once the live fire has burned out from the Araar wood, the meat is lowered into the pits. The top of the pit is sealed with a mixture of mud and debris, which sits ready in buckets near the pits. Small vents in the side of the buried ovens allow enough oxygen in to keep the wood smoldering.

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