Harissa-spiced slow-roast lamb
- April 2019
- Serves 6-8
- Hands-on time 15 min, oven time 4½ hours
Our easy, fragrant leg of lamb, served with a mint, almond and radish salad, is a crowd-pleasing spring roast perfect for Easter. It’s simple to prepare – all the hard work is done in the oven.
- 29.8g (9.3g saturated)
- 5.3g (4.8g sugars)
- 4 tbsp rose harissa pesto (see Know-how) or 2 tbsp harissa paste
- Finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- Small bunch fresh coriander, leaves and stalks chopped
- 2.2-3kg easy-carve leg of lamb (see Know-how)
For the salad
- 1 cucumber, halved, deseeded and sliced
- 300g mixed radishes, quartered (or sliced then quartered if using the larger watermelon radishes)
- 100g whole skin-on almonds, toasted in a dry pan
- Small bunch fresh mint, chopped
- Handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp argan oil (see Know-how)
- 2 tsp runny honey
- Juice 1 lemon
- 125g pomegranate seeds
- Roast potatoes to serve
- Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. Mix together the harissa pesto or paste, lemon zest and juice, ground spices, fresh coriander and plenty of black pepper in a bowl.
- Put the lamb in a roasting tin and rub with the harissa marinade (see Make Ahead). Roast for 30 minutes, uncovered, then pour 300ml water around the lamb and cover the tin tightly with 2 sheets of foil. Roast for 4 hours, basting with the cooking juices once or twice, until tender.
- Transfer the lamb to a chopping board and rest for 20-30 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Skim any surface fat off the pan juices, then taste and keep warm (or simmer briskly for 5-10 minutes to intensify the flavour if it’s not punchy enough).
- Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Put the cucumber, radishes and almonds in a serving bowl and toss with most of the herbs. Drizzle with the argan oil, honey and lemon juice along with plenty of salt, and toss well. Scatter over the remaining herbs and pomegranate seeds. Serve the lamb, carved into slices, with the salad and crispy roast potatoes.
Marinate the lamb, covered in the fridge, up to 2 days ahead of roasting.
Easy-carve leg of lamb has had the leg boned out, then tied back into the joint for flavour. Ask your butcher to do it for you or look in larger supermarkets.
Argan oil comes from Morocco and is made from the crushed fruit of the argan tree; it has a distinctive, nutty flavour. If you can’t find it, use olive oil instead.
It’s impossible to beat red rioja with roast lamb, and a younger ‘crianza’ style will suit this dish best.
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