This recipe is a staple of mine and it is always a huge hit with guests. It's great for parties as you can marinate the lamb in larger quantities. The perfect accompaniment is the Warm Barley Salad (recipe below) as it has similar spices in it (cinnamon, cumin and coriander).
Half a leg of lamb boned (about 1kg)
Juice of 2 lemons
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
250ml natural yoghurt
2 red chillies, seeded
Small bunch of coriander, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
½ tbsp ground cardamom
½ tbsp ground cloves
Small bunch of rosemary
Tenderise the lamb by rubbing it with the lemon juice, 1 tbsp salt and the thyme leaves. Leave for an hour.
Whizz the yoghurt with the rest of the ingredients (except the rosemary) in a food processor to make the marinade. Rub the marinade all over the lamb and leave to marinate for 2-3 hours and preferably overnight.
Heat the oven to 230C/fan 210C/gas 8. Put the lamb on a rack over a bed of rosemary in a roasting tin and cook for 35-40 minutes for medium. Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving with flat bread and tzatziki.
Warm Pearl Barley Salad
This salad is a perfect accompaniment to the Lamb Marinated in Yoghurt.
½ cup pearl barley
Juice & finely grated zest of 1½ lemons
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 small garlic clove crushed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 medium tomatoes (skinned and diced) – I don’t bother skinning them!
2 cups combined of fresh parsley, coriander and mint, coarsely chopped
1 whole red chilli including seeds chopped (optional)
Cook the barley in boiling salted water for 30 minutes or until just tender.
Meanwhile combine the lemon zest & juice, sea salt, ground coriander, cumin & cinnamon, garlic and olive oil.
Drain the barley and mix in the dressing.
When read to serve add the chopped tomatoes and herbs and combine well.