An exotic slow roasted lamb recipe, in the style of Persian and North African food, served with aromatic saffron rice. Perfect for Sunday lunch or any special celebratory meal.
1 Organic leg of lamb (about 2kg to 2.2kg)
fresh mint (large bunch, finely chopped)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon Ras-el-hanout
1/2 teaspoon cardamom pods, ground in a pestle and morrtar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato puree
Juice and zest of two lemons
200g Basmati rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
pinch saffron threads soaked in 1tbsp milk
2 cinnamon sticks
An exotic slow roasted lamb recipe, in the style of Persian and North African food, served with aromatic saffron rice. Perfect for Sunday lunch or any special celebratory meal. The left overs can be made into more exciting meals, such as curry, tagine and spicy shepherd's pie. (Recipe inspired by Silvena Rowe)
RUB: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend it all to a thick paste. Rub the marinade all over the lamb, place the lamb in a large dish, cover and marinate for 24 hours; store in a cool place, such as the fridge or a pantry.
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas mark 2. Place the lamb in a roasting tin, add about 450ml (three-quarters of a pint) of water and cover with foil. Bake for 5 hours (or longer, depending on the weight), or until the meat is very tender and is almost falling off the bone. Remove the foil about 30 minutes before the end of cooking, to allow the lamb to brown and the fat to crisp up.
Leave the lamb to rest for 20 minutes, and then "pull" the meat from the bone (you can almost spoon it on the plates, like French Spoon Lamb) and serve with the rice and accompaniments such as flat breads, spiced cauliflower and a fresh tomato & mint salad.
Rice: Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions until they are golden brown. Add the turmeric, stir it into the rice and fry for a further minute. Add the saffron and the milk, and then pour over enough hot water to completely cover the rice. Add some salt to taste, stir well before transferring the mixture to a microwave dish - I use a covered Pyrex bowl. Cook on high (covered) for 10 minutes. (Or, cook the rice in the conventional way on top of the hob)