Slow-roasted spiced lamb

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

  • 20 gm each fennel seeds and cumin seeds
  • 10 gm coriander seeds
  • 10 gm black cardamom
  • 35 gm fine sea salt
  • 70 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 lamb loin racks, at room temperature
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  •  
  • Tzatziki
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, coarsely grated
  • 1 kg Greek-style yoghurt
  • Juice of 2 lemons, plus extra cut into wedges, to serve
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) mint
  •  
  • Lemon potatoes
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 2 kg Desiree potatoes, cut into 3cm chunks
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, unpeeled
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dried Greek oregano (see note)
  •  
  • Wild weeds
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 200 gm wild weeds, such as chicory and dandelion
  • 200 ml chicken stock
01   For tzatziki, combine cucumber and 1 tsp sea salt in a bowl and stand until liquid has seeped (30 minutes), then drain in a colander. Squeeze out excess liquid (discard liquid), return cucumber to bowl, add yoghurt, lemon juice, oil and mint, season to taste and refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop.
02   Meanwhile, preheat oven to 70C or lowest temperature. Dry-roast spices until fragrant (1-2 minutes), then pound in a mortar and pestle with salt until finely ground (1-2 minutes). Combine with oil and garlic and set aside.
03   Place lamb on an oven tray. Rub spice mixture all over lamb, then roast, turning every 2 hours, until you can push your finger through the back of the rib easily (6 hours). Remove from oven, pour lemon juice over, cover with foil and rest while you cook potatoes.
04   For lemon potatoes, increase oven to 180C. Heat oil in a non-stick roasting pan over high heat, add potatoes and garlic (be careful as hot oil will spit), turn occasionally until golden (4-5 minutes). Add stock, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and oregano, season to taste and bake until liquid evaporates and potato is tender and starts to fry again in the oil (40-45 minutes). Keep warm.
05   Meanwhile, for wild weeds, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add garlic and chilli, cook until golden (1-2 minutes), add wild weeds then stock and cook until stock evaporates and weeds are tender (3-4 minutes).
06   Thickly slice lamb and serve hot with lemon potatoes, wild weeds and tzatziki, with extra lemon wedges.
Note Greek oregano is available in dried bunches from Greek delicatessens.

This recipe is from the May 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

JONATHAN BARTHELMESS, THE APOLLO, SYDNEY

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

EMMA KNOWLES

Drinking Suggestion:

ITALIAN OR AUSTRALIAN SANGIOVESE. , suggested by SAM CHRISTIE

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