Thursday, 7 May 2015

Hot Harissa Lamb

What to do with a leg of lamb when you don't fancy a traditional Sunday roast?

That was my dilemma the other week.......I had all the necessary for a lovely lamb roast - parsnips, carrots, spring greens, mint sauce - you know all the works but........and here's my dilemma ...... I really didn't fancy it and I can't cook anything unless it's something I fancy eating. It doesn't matter to me if everyone else wants it! if I don't and I'm cooking then it's not happening! Selfish I know but hey that's how it is!

Well it was a hot and sunny day so we could eat outside and I think that influenced my choice of a Moroccan style menu - hot harissa marinade for the lamb and serving it with a fruity couscous and salad.

Recipe - serves 6

1 large leg lamb approx 2kg
1 90g jar harissa paste
a large onion - skin on but sliced through the root to hold it's shape
a couple just ripe but firm pears - sliced into quarters.
dessert spoon smokey paprika
juice of a lemon
olive oil
some fresh thyme sprigs
salt and pepper

some string and a large heavy based casserole pot.

bowl of fruity couscous - I used this recipe minus the chicken

Pre-heat oven 220C / Gas 7

First thing you need to do is remove the bone from the lamb joint. This is easy to do but takes a little time and a sharp knife.

Place the lamb on a chopping board and get a feel for where the bone is. Now run you knife down both sides of the bone. Know using careful strokes cut along the side of the bone - keeping as close to it as you can - and work your way around the bone to release it from the meat.

Place the bone in the casserole pot and then lay the meat out in front of you and remove any large lumps of fat or cartilage. Now roll it up and tie it all together with some string.

Pop your sliced onions and pears into the base of the pot - the pears just add a little sweetness to the dish whilst it's cooking. Place your lamb on top and give it all a good slug of olive oil.

Now empty the harissa paste into a bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Smooth the paste all over the joint. Sprinkle the paprika, a little salt and loads of black pepper over the top. Finally add your thyme sprigs and pop the lid on.

Place the casserole in the oven for about and hour and then remove the lid. Give it another 30 minutes. Then remove from the oven, place the roll of lamb on a board or warm plate and allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Discard the onions, pears and leg bone.

We like the lamb pink in our house but if you would like it cooked a little more give it a bit longer before you remove the lid for the final 30 minutes.

Whilst the lamb is cooking you can prepare your couscous

Fruity Couscous recipe

To serve cut the lamb into large slices and place on a large plate for everyone to help themselves along with a bowl of the couscous, a green salad and some lovely soft pitta bread. We also had a large bowl of hummus to dip the pitta in  - Lovely!  Just as a side note some natural yogurt would go well with this dish as well.

Hope you have a great Thursday - here's the printable...

 Hot Harissa Lamb