Herby tamarind lamb with baked jollof rice

Herby tamarind lamb with baked jollof rice
  • Serves icon Serves 6-8
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min. Oven time 1 hour 50 min, plus 20 min resting

This tamarind and herb-stuffed lamb leg with baked jollof rice recipe is a celebratory Senegalese-inspired one-pot by award-winning author and chef Lerato Umah-Shaylor – see Know-how for more about the background of the dish. Use a metal roasting tray if possible – ceramic and glass ones may mean the rice needs longer to cook.

For a meat-free take, try Lerato’s smoky jollof rice.

Lerato’s debut cookbook, Africana: Treasured Recipes And Stories From Across The Continent, was published in 2022.

Nutrition: Per serving (for 8)

Calories
944kcals
Fat
51g (22g saturated)
Protein
50g
Carbohydrates
68g (17g sugars)
Fibre
8.9g
Salt
3.6g
Calories
944kcals
Fat
51g (22g saturated)
Protein
50g
Carbohydrates
68g (17g sugars)
Fibre
8.9g
Salt
3.6g

Ingredients

For the stuffing and lamb

  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 3 green chillies
  • 50g flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, plus 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 red onion, halved
  • 3 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 60ml vegetable oil, plus extra to brush
  • 2½ tsp sea salt
  • 2.2kg lamb leg, at room temperature

For the jollof and veg

  • 2 red onions, halved
  • 2 romano peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Thumb-size piece ginger
  • 1 red scotch bonnet, stalk removed (see tip)
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • ½ white cabbage, quartered
  • 1 large aubergine, quartered
  • 3 large carrots, halved
  • 500g basmati rice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400ml hot vegetable stock

Specialist kit

  • Butcher’s string

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C fan/gas 7. Put the garlic and chillies in a food processor, pulse a few times, then add the parsley, rosemary leaves, onion, fennel seeds, tamarind paste, vegetable oil and 1 tsp of the salt. Whizz to a coarse green paste.
  2. Brush a large deep roasting tray with oil and sit the lamb on it. Using the tip of a small knife, cut deep incisions all over the lamb. Cut deeply into and halfway along the fleshiest part, opening up a pocket ready for the paste. Season the lamb all over with the remaining 1½ tsp salt, rubbing some into the pocket too.
  3. Set aside 3 tbsp of the green paste for later, then stuff two thirds of what remains into the pocket. Tightly close the pocket, as if you are trying to wrap the lamb back together, then tie it shut with 1-2 loops of butcher’s string. Cut the rosemary sprigs into smaller pieces and stuff them into the holes you cut earlier. Rub over the remaining third of the green paste.
  4. Nestle the halved red onions and romano peppers around the lamb, then roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Put the roasted peppers and 2 of the roasted onion halves (save the others for later) in a food processor with the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic, ginger, scotch bonnet (see Lerato’s tip) and herbs, then whizz to a sauce. Brush the sides of the tray with a little more oil, then pour in the sauce, surrounding the lamb. Nestle the cabbage, aubergine and carrots in the sauce, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, rinse the rice well, then drain. Carefully transfer the lamb and vegetable pieces from the sauce to a plate. Add the rice, salt, bay leaves and hot stock to the sauce in the tray, stir, then put the carrots back in, creating a sort of trivet in the centre. Sit the lamb on the carrots, then mix the 3 tbsp green paste you set aside earlier with 2 tbsp water and brush half over the meat.
  6. Cut a sheet of baking paper large enough to cover the tray with plenty of excess, then scrunch it up and run it under a cold tap to thoroughly wet it. Squeeze out any excess water, then unscrunch and lay it over the lamb, tucking it under the tray to create a loose lid.
  7. Roast the lamb and rice for 50 minutes. Put the cabbage, aubergine and reserved onion halves on a smaller baking tray in a single layer, brush with the rest of the green paste, then roast below the lamb for the final 15 minutes. After the 50 minutes, turn off the oven and remove the tray of veg, leaving the meat and rice inside for 10 minutes more.
  8. Remove the baking paper and transfer the lamb and carrots to a carving board. Leave to rest for another 10 minutes, covered with the paper. Meanwhile, fluff up the rice and set aside for it to dry out a little. Carve and serve the meat with the jollof, the roasted veg piled high alongside.

delicious. tips

  1. Lerato’s tip “If you’re not a fan of heat, keep the scotch bonnet separate, cut a slit in it, then add it to the sauce in step 4. Take it out before adding the rice, then whizz it up with 60ml vegetable oil for a fruity chilli oil people can add as they see fit.”

     

  2. “This recipe is inspired by the original jollof, called benachin, which means ‘one pot’ in Wolof, a language from Senegal and The Gambia. It’s a dish that has travelled across West Africa and beyond,” says Lerato Umah-Shaylor. “As well as the traditional elements of rice and vegetables in a rich tomato and pepper sauce, the lamb in my recipe comes with ‘rof’, a Senegalese green stuffing with added rosemary and tamarind. The incredible juices of the lamb flavour the jollof and vegetables. Be sure to enjoy the edges of smoky burnt rice, a delicacy in itself.”

Recipe By

Lerato Umah-Shaylor

Subscribe

Fancy getting a copy in print?

Subscribe to our magazine

Rate & review

Rate

Reviews

Share a tip

Or, how about...?

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Vegan dinner recipes

Jollof beans (black-eyed beans in tomato sauce)

Try journalist Kemi Bamgbose’ fiery jollof beans, made with scotch...

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

African recipes

Smoky jollof rice

Jollof rice gets a smoky flavour boost in this delicious...

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Christmas ham recipes

Tamarind and pomegranate caramel-glazed ham

This sweet, succulent Christmas glazed ham is a feast for...

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Roast recipes

Apricot stuffed lamb shoulder with rosemary roast potatoes

Whether you want to cook a weekend roast with a...

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

African recipes

Garden egg stew

African garden eggs (a type of aubergine) are the star...

Subscribe to our magazine

Food stories, skills and tested recipes, straight to your door... Enjoy 5 issues for just £5 with our special introductory offer.

Subscribe

Unleash your inner chef

Looking for inspiration? Receive the latest recipes with our newsletter

We treat your data with care. See our privacy policy. By signing up, you are agreeing to delicious.’ terms and conditions. Unsubscribe at any time.