Yoghurt-Marinated Roast Lamb

Goodness, for my usual crowd I don’t need to tell you how to cook a boned-out leg of lamb. But my latest dinner party attendees enjoyed this Middle Eastern-inspired, spicily marinated version, so I’m putting the recipe here in case one of you wants to make it at your own home.

The marinating meat looked odd in photographs *, so I’ve just included the final result.

Serves: 8


  • 1.5k boneless leg of lamb
  • Half of a 454g (1 lb) container of plain, live yoghurt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 6 green cardamom pods, split with a light crushing, and seeds removed and crushed
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black or rainbow peppercorns
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp dried chives
  • 1/4 tsp dried mint


  • One large and 1 medium mixing bowls
  • Clingfilm
  • Pestle and mortar
  • A roasting tin (13″ x 9″ or 33cm x 23cm)
  • Tin foil


  1. Put the yoghurt and all spices/herbs into a medium bowl, and mix together well to create the marinade.
  2. Put the meat into a large bowl (ensuring the fat side is up), and pour over the marinade. Rub the meat all over to ensure it’s evenly coated, cover the bowl with cling film, and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.
  3. Take the meat out of the fridge about 2 hours before you’re ready to cook, and put into your roasting tin. Scrape all additional marinade over the top and around the sides.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted).
  5. Make a parcel of tinfoil over the roasting tin, ensuring it’s tightly attached and that there’s enough room over the top of the meat to allow steam to develop. Bake for 2 hours, turning the tin around every 30 minutes for even cooking. After 90 minutes, take the foil off and leave for the remaining time to brown.
  6. Rest the meat for at least 20 minutes before serving (that thin-ness you see in the photographed meat juices is immediately out of the oven, and exactly why you want it to rest) with the vegetables of your choice. I served steamed broccoli and carrots, with generous lashings of butter over each, and copied the spices in the marinade by adding some chilli with the broccoli, and dried coriander and mint with the carrots.

* Marinating the Lamb
Well, if you really want to see it … Isn’t that enticing? 🙂


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