As I came back from my solo holiday in India, I was in full nourishing mode. I purchased a leg of lamb from my neighbours in the farmer market, Beech Ridge Farm. Their lamb is some of the best I know, you don’t need to do much to become the most delectable roast there is.
I took inspiration in one of my favourite cuisines, Moroccan, by using preserved lemons and harissa paste that complement this joint type of meat so well. The combination cuts through the richness of the lamb to create a truly majestic roast. Some people get a bit mystified about how to use preserved lemons, for me it is a versatile condiment that adds pizzazz from meats to vegetarian dishes, even to desserts. Not to mention we are in the best season to make some of your own and even have been teaching it in my recent workshops…
If you have never heard about harissa paste, it is a smoked chilli and spices paste commonly used in North African food. You can easily find them in supermarkets nowadays. One of my favourite brands is the Rose Harissa Paste from Belazu. On this occasion however I was able to use a home fermented one that I have been gifted to me by a cousin. To be honest it is not a difficult ferment make yourself and I am intending to explore it in my next hot sauces workshops.
1 leg of lamb, bone in
½ preserved lemon
3 garlic cloves
1 large onion
Preheat the oven at 150
Slice the garlic cloves and preserved lemons into slivers. Prepare the lamb by making cuts into the skin with a pairing knife. You are looking into making little pockets that will be filled with a combination of the garlic and lemons slivers. You want to distribute them around the surface so the flavour can leach in slowly during the cooking into the meat.
After the lamb is prepared, mix the harissa with a bit of olive oil and spread all over the joint evenly.
Line a casserole dish with your sliced onion and sprig of rosemary. Place the join on top of it. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the stock and wine, cover and slice up the onions roughly to make a bed. Put in the oven for 3-4 hours until the meet falls off the bone. Check on the meat half-way through to make sure there still liquid, if it is running just add some more stock or even a cup of water will do.
I usually serve it off the bone, on a serving plate. I strain the juices through a sieve and serve on top or on the side.