100 g butter, softened
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
large piece ginger
1 leg of lamb (about 2 kg)
3 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
2 large onions, cut into thick, 3 cm round slices
Middle Eastern flatbreads, heated, to serve
500 ml greek yogurt
small bunch mint, chopped
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 bunch coriander, chopped
300 g giant couscous
- To make the labneh, mix the yogurt, mint and ½ tsp salt. Put in a sieve lined with muslin or a clean cloth over a bowl and leave to drain overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, tip out into a dish and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140. Mix the butter with the spices and ginger and season with ½ tsp salt. Make incisions all over the lamb, deep enough to hold the garlic slivers and poke them in. Pat the lamb dry with kitchen paper then rub the spiced butter all over it, and season with salt.
- Put the slices of onion in the bottom of a roasting tin and sit the lamb on top. Pour around a small teacup of water. Cover tightly with a double-layer tent of foil, then put in the oven. Cook for 5 hours, then take the foil off, turn the oven up to 190C/fan 170C, and cook for another ½ hour. Rest it while you make the couscous.
- Put the spring onions, lemon juice and zest and coriander into a large bowl and season well. Cook the couscous in boiling salted water until just tender, about 6-8 minutes (don’t let it get too mushy). Drain really well then tip into the spring onion bowl and toss.
- Serve the lamb carved into chunks with the couscous, mint labneh, flatbreads and the cooking juices from the tin.