Butterflied marinated leg of lamb with couscous salad and harissa yogurt
- October 2018
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 40-50 min, plus 12 hours marinating
This butterflied leg of lamb dish by former head chef at Racine, Henry Harris, is a real showstopper. He recommends cooking the meat on the barbecue to achieve ‘a finished result of char, sweetness and spice’. Try it.
- 39.1g (15g saturated)
- 59g (11.3g sugars)
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
- Finely grated zest 2 lemons
- 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked and finely choppe
- 50ml olive oil
- 1.2kg butterflied British leg of lamb (ask your butcher or buy ready prepared)
For the couscous salad
- 500g couscous
- 100ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for dressing
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 large bunches fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 large bunch fresh mint, leaves picked and sliced
- 3 red onions, finely chopped
- Finely grated zest 1 orange
- Grated zest 2 lemons, juice 3
For the harissa yogurt
- 1kg greek yogurt
- 2 tsp harissa (or to taste)
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- Toast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds with the peppercorns in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant (be careful not to burn). Transfer to a spice grinder, mini food processor or pestle and mortar and grind coarsely. Mix the toasted spices in a bowl with the sea salt, lemon zest, chillies, garlic, thyme and olive oil.
- Put the lamb in a non-metallic dish and rub all over with the spice mix. Cover tightly with cling film and chill for at least 12 hours but preferably 24.
- Remove the lamb from the fridge and unwrap at least 2 hours before cooking. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous salad. Cook the couscous according to the packet instructions. Transfer to a shallow bowl, stir in the olive oil and leave to cool. Peel the cucumbers, halve lengthways and deseed with a teaspoon, then chop into 0.5cm cubes. Put in a colander with the salt and set aside to drain for 30 minutes.
- To barbecue, heat a gas barbecue until hot or light the coals and leave until they glow white. Barbecue the lamb for 5 minutes on each side over a high heat, then reduce the heat (or move the coals to one side) and cook for 30-40 minutes more. If you don’t want to cook the lamb on the barbecue, heat the grill to medium and cook the lamb for 8-10 minutes on each side, then turn, put in a roasting tin and cook in the oven at 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3 for 10 minutes. Remove the lamb and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Rinse and drain the cucumber and mix into the couscous along with the herbs, onions and orange and lemon zests. Taste and season with salt, pepper and the lemon juice.
- Combine all the ingredients for the harissa yogurt, adding more harissa or salt to taste. Serve the lamb cut into slices, with the couscous salad and harissa yogurt on the side.
The harissa yogurt recipe calls for a kilo of yogurt. You’ll have leftovers but it’s a useful thing to have in the fridge. For this recipe I like to use the harissa brands from Middle Eastern grocers that usually come in a yellow tin or tube.
Marinate the lamb for at least 12 hours or overnight (it will keep in the fridge
for up to 2 days). Cook and cover the couscous salad and the harissa yogurt and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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