Indulgent and hearty without being too rich, this roast lamb recipe takes its inspiration from the Middle East, using Moroccan spices and preserved lemons for a fresh take on a traditional family meal. It’s ideal winter fare; invest a few hours over the weekend and you’ll be rewarded with tender, flavoursome results.
Slow roast lamb leg with preserved lemon, mint farro and roast vegetables
Prep and cook time: 5 hours
2kg lamb leg
3 large sprigs rosemary
1 head of garlic
4 wedges preserved lemon
80ml olive oil 500g
David Jones sweet potato, cut into chunks
500g David Jones butternut pumpkin, cut into chunks
700g David Jones kipfler potatoes, cut into chunks
1 tbsp Moroccan seasoning
200g roasted farro extra mint leaves, to serve
½ cup chopped coriander
¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp lemon juice
80ml extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line a large roasting pan with baking paper.
2. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make several incisions in the flesh of the lamb leg. Cut one of the rosemary sprigs into small pieces and press them into the incisions. Transfer lamb to a roasting pan. Add the remaining rosemary and the whole garlic head to the pan.
3. Remove the pulpy flesh from the preserved lemon wedges and rub the flesh all over the lamb. Reserve the lemon rind. Drizzle lamb with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cover with another sheet of baking paper and then seal the pan with a large sheet of foil. Transfer to oven and bake for 3 hours.
4. After 3 hours, put the mixed chopped vegetables into a large bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the Moroccan seasoning. Season with sea salt and toss to coat. Transfer to a large roasting tray.
5. Remove lamb from the oven and discard foil and baking paper. Remove whole garlic head and set to one side. Return lamb and vegetables to the oven. Roast for a further 1½ hours, uncovered.
6. Meanwhile, put the farro into a saucepan with 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes or until the water has almost been completely absorbed. Cover with a lid and set aside for 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Season.
7. To make the dressing, squeeze the soft flesh from the roast garlic into the bowl of a small food processor. Add the coriander leaves, mint leaves, lemon juice, olive oil and the reserved preserved lemon rind, roughly chopped. Blitz to a smooth sauce.
8. To serve, spread the farro over the base of a large serving platter. Top with the roast vegetables, whole lamb leg, fresh mint leaves and a generous drizzle of the green dressing.
Serve with: Green vegetable and kale salad
Make a dressing by cooking four anchovy fillets, three sliced red onions and two crushed garlic cloves in olive oil until caramelised (15 to 20 minutes). Add a splash of sherry vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes before tossing through blanched seasonal green vegetables and kale.
Photography Alicia Taylor
Recipe by Michele Cranston