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Aromatic Roast Leg of Lamb

After a cover-to-cover reading of Fire and Smoke by Rich Harris (one of our favourite chefs), we were inspired to try this lamb dish. It uses a balanced blend of aromatic spices to offset the succulent rich-sweet flavour of the meat.

  • Prepare: 4 Hours 20 Minutes
  • Cook: 2 Hours 10 Minutes
  • Serves 6
Ingredients & instructions

A whole leg of organic lamb, bone in

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp sea salt

5 garlic cloves, crushed

1cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

3 tbsp olive oil

  1. Heat a dry frying pan over a medium flame until hot. Add all of the whole spices and toast them for a few minutes until their aromatic oils are released. Be very careful not to let them burn.
  2. Remove the spices from the heat and grind them to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, you can use the back of a spoon to crush them.
  3. Add the chilli flakes, sweet paprika and sea salt, grinding until you have a smooth powder. Then add the garlic and ginger and pound everything to a rough paste.
  4. Combine the olive oil with the spices, giving everything a good mix. 
  5. Pop your leg of lamb into a roasting dish and rub the paste over the skin, making sure it get into all the nooks and crannies and is evenly spread. Cover the leg with cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours – ideally overnight. This lets the flavours sink in. 
  6. Remove the lamb from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to let it come to room temperature. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C fan.
  7. Roast the leg of lamb for 1 hour and 20 minutes. When it’s done, wrap it in foil and cover in a tea towel to let it rest for around 20 minutes before carving.

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