Roast Lamb with Middle Eastern Spices

Courtesy: Olga Fenton
Roast shoulder of lamb with Middle Eastern spices (From the Jewish Recipes book)


  • 1.5 kg boned shoulder of lamb trimmed (if more double or triple the marinade amount)
  • 8 small brown (not French shallots, just small) onions, halved
  • Olive oil extra
  • 2 bay leaves


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional, can put chilli instead or no pepper if cooking for kids)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (I prefer dry fry the seeds and then grind them using mortar and pestle, the flavour is 100 times better and it only takes a few minutes )
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander ( the same as with cumin seeds, dry fry, can do at the same time as the cumin seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Note: after you cook it a couple of times, you don't need to measure any more, as you will know how much spice you want to put


  1. Mix the marinade ingredients until smooth, spread over the lamb in a flat dish and leave overnigh, turn at least once
  2. Preheat oven to 190C
  3. Return lamb to room temperature
  4. Roll the lamb and secure with the kitchen string
  5. Place the onions in a roasting tin and sprinkle lightly with olive oil
  6. Put the lamb on top of the onions.
  7. Pour 1 ½ cups water into the base of the roasting tin and add the bay leaves.
  8. Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour 20 minutes, adding water to the dish so it doesn't evaporate completely. The lamb will be quite rare, so increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes or more (you need to test) for well done.
  9. Remove from the oven, cover and leave for 15 minutes before carving.
  10. Serve with onions.
  11. Make a gravy from the pan juices, if desired.

I also cook it for many hour on a rack, on about 105 C.

My another quick favourite is, pork steaks: mix some crushed garlic with a bit of salt, olive oil, ground pepper and lemon juice, spread over both sides of the pork steak and then cook them after about 20 minutes in the marine.

Bon appétit!


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