An epicurean delight, lamb has been a religious symbol of Easter for centuries that continues today. Given the terrible weather in England of late, we wanted to create some recipes for Easter Sunday that brought some warmth and colour to the table so below are the recipes we created for Harissa Lamb, Spiced Cous Cous and Chickpea Salad …
I N G R E D I E N T S
3 heaped teaspoons of Harissa paste (we used Al’Fez)
Half a leg of lamb
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Spiced Cous Cous:
100g Giant wholewheat cous cous (we used this one)
500ml hot water (or use vegetable stock)
Good glug of Olive oil
1 x onion, cut in half and sliced
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Cardamon pods, deseeded
1 tsp Ground turmeric
2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Ground ginger
Large handful of sultanas
Large handful of Pomegranate
Large handful of fresh coriander
Large handful of fresh mint
Salt and Pepper
1 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 x large bunch chives, finely chopped
1 x large tomato, core removed and finely chopped
2 x tbsp tahini
1 x clove of garlic
Juice of two lemons
Large handful fresh coriander, chopped
Large handful fresh mint, chopped
Salt and pepper
M E T H O D
1. Mix the harissa paste, garlic, olive oil and salt & pepper in a small bowl and rub onto the lamb. If you have time, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or if you are short on time 30 mins will be fine.
2. Heat the oven to 200°c fan and insert meat probe (if using) into the thickest part of the meat – making sure you don’t touch the bone – and set the core temperature at 50-55°c for medium- rare. If you aren’t using a meat probe, cook for 45-50 minutes.
3 Next prepare the chickpea salad. Take a mixing bowl and with the cut side of the garlic clove rub the bowl around with both halves. This gives the salad a hint of garlic without overpowering it (also a good trick for gucamole!) Anyway, drain the chickpeas and place in the mixing bowl. Add the chopped tomato and give the mix a good stir. Next add the lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper and combine. You could add chopped red pepper and / or cucumber to this too and if you wanted a more onion-y flavour, some diced red onion would work well. Cover and leave to one side (if making ahead this chills really well but allow it to come to room temperature before serving).
4. For the cous cous, add all the spices to a pestle and mortar and crush. Add a splash of olive oil to a large deep pan and fry off the onions on a low to medium heat, stirring occasionally so they caramelise slightly. Should take around 10 minutes. Once browned and softened, add the spices to the pan over a medium heat and stir well for 1 minute. Add the cous cous and give it a good stir for 1 minute. Allowing the cous cous to be coated in the oil and spice mix will help them keep their shape because the outer edge gets sealed (same principle as risotto). Pour in the water or stock if you’re using this, then mix and cover with a lid for 10 minutes or whatever the directions say on the packet. After 5 minutes add the sultanas to the mix as these will go become all plump and juicy in the mix.
5. Once the cous cous has softened, let it cool ever so slightly for 2-3 minutes and add the chopped mint, coriander and pomegranate seeds to serve.
6. Rest the lamb for a good 20 minutes before serving. We used a half shoulder which is enough for 4 with the quantities above. Another idea would be to add a cucumber yoghurt side dish – there is a great recipe in Ottolenghi’s book Jerusalem.