Slow-cooked Moorish lamb with buttermilk dressing
- June 2015
- Serves 6-8
- Hands-on time 15 min, oven time 4½-5 hours, barbecue time 30 min, plus marinating and resting
Lamb is marinated in bold Middle Eastern flavours, slow-cooked to perfection and then covered in a garlicky buttermilk dressing. We’ve finished it off on the barbecue for 30 minutes too, to add extra smoky flavour.
If you love the idea of lamb cooked in plenty of spice, then check out our harissa-spiced slow-roast lamb recipe for another spectacular showstopper.
- 29g (10.7g saturated)
- 2.6g (0.7g sugars)
- 1 British lamb shoulder, bone-in (2.5-3kg)
- 50ml olive oil
- 20g smoked paprika (pimentón)
- 20g coriander seeds, roughly crushed in a pestle and mortar
- 20g ground cumin
- 1 garlic bulb, cut into quarters
- 50ml red wine vinegar
For the dressing
- 100ml buttermilk
- Splash white wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Rub the meat with the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Rub the paprika, crushed coriander seeds and cumin all over the lamb. Lay out a large double layer of foil, put the lamb on top and nestle the garlic bulb pieces underneath. Drizzle over the vinegar, then fold the foil around the joint to completely seal the lamb. Leave the wrapped meat to marinate in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.
- Heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/ gas 1. Put the foil-wrapped lamb in a shallow roasting tray, then open up the foil around the meat, so the steam from the oven can get to the meat. Half fill a large deep roasting tray with water and set a rack on top so the rack is out of the water. Put the tray with the lamb on top of the rack, then cook in the oven for 4½-5 hours until tender, turning the meat every couple of hours and topping up the water if it evaporates too much.
- When the meat can be pulled apart with a spoon it’s ready for the barbecue. Take the slow-cooked lamb out of the foil and put it onto the hot barbecue grill for 20-30 minutes so the outside of the meat browns and takes on some of the smoky flavour (be careful as the dripping fatty juices from the lamb may make the coals flare up). If you have a barbecue with a hood, you can cook it with the lid down to trap the smoke.
- For the dressing, whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar and garlic and season well. Rest the lamb in a warm spot for 20-30 minutes, then serve with the buttermilk dressing.
If you’re not finishing the lamb on the barbie, unwrap and finish it in a hot griddle pan, turning, for 15-20 minutes or in the oven in a roasting tin for 30 minutes. You won’t get the barbecue flavour but it will still taste great.
Marinate the lamb up to 48 hours ahead, covered in the fridge. Partially slow cook the lamb (step 2) for 4 hours the day before. Chill overnight then, on the day, return to the oven for an hour and continue from step 3.
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