When you are having guests over, the last thing you want is to be bogged down with a complicated meal. This simple recipe is the perfect rescue. It brings together a handful of ingredients and delivers maximum flavour. The aroma of saffron, garlic and thyme as it roasts is simply irresistable and the final dish makes for a perfect Sunday roast.
Middle Eastern Roast Leg of Lamb
- 5 lb leg of lamb
- 18 g garlic cloves, cut in half
- pinch of saffron
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 850 g baking potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
- 450 g (about 4 small) onions, thickly sliced into rings
- 225 g (about 2) lemons, ends trimmed and thickly sliced
- 2-3 whole heads of garlic, trimmed at the top to expose the cloves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- roasted carrots and asparagus for serving or any vegetable of your choice
- For every piece of garlic, make incisions in the lamb (bottom side) and press the garlic into it.
- Soak saffron in 1 tbsp of boiling water for 5 minutes.
- Combine saffron water, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub mixture over the lamb and let marinate for 2-4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- In a large baking pan, layer potato, onion and lemon slices. Place lamb on top, pour remaining marinade over the lamb.
- Roast for a total of 2-2 1/2 hours, basting occasionally. It’s best to use a meat thermometer. For lamb, the reading should be 170 °F for well done.
- After one hour of roasting, add garlic heads to the pan and roast these for the remainder of the time.
- Garnish with fresh thyme and serve with roasted carrots and asparagus.