Spiced and sliced leg of lamb

Serve with lots of good bread to sop up all the juices.

Spiced leg of lamb. Photograph: Eric Luke

Spiced leg of lamb. Photograph: Eric Luke

Thu, Sep 5, 2013, 13:07

   
  • Cooking Time: 15 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Ingredients

  • Serves 4-6 1 leg of lamb (boned)
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • Good squeeze honey
  • Black pepper
  • 100ml olive oil

Method

This is best marinated the day before you want to eat it, if you can, but even doing it for a few hours is fine.

Don’t get into a tizzy over missing one or more of the spices or even substituting whole spices for ground ones. The idea is to make a paste by blitzing it all together, so add more of something else if you’re missing one or two items.

Put the lamb in a roasting tray or gratin dish. Put all the other ingredients (except the olive oil) into a food processor or similar and blitz. Add the olive gradually – you may not need it all – until you have a chunky but vaguely slushy marinade.

Stab the lamb repeatedly to make slits and narrow pockets. Rub the lamb with the marinade, stuffing bits into these pockets and leave to marinate for as long as you can.

I cooked this in my oven (as it was a bit apocalyptic outside at the time) and blasted it at 220 degrees/gas 7, for about 15 minutes.It looked pretty crisp and charred on the outside and because it’s boned, it wasn’t that thick, so I took it out, covered it in foil and let it sit for 30 minutes.

But note: the lamb was at room temperature when I cooked it, and my oven is very powerful. Yours may take longer, especially if you cook it straight from the fridge, which in itself will add 10 minutes to the cooking time.

After that, I thinly sliced it and it was lovely and pink, but charred outside. If you find it’s a little pinker, you can always keep slicing and then chuck the slices back into the roasting pan – which will be full of delicious juices – and cook in the oven for another few minutes. Serve with lots of good bread to sop up all the juices.

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