Spiced Roast Lamb

It is summer but our oven has been working more than it should be. And in fact, more than the winter months. I’m not a huge fan of salads or cold noodles, I prefer my meals hot – stews and braises..YUM. Standing over the stove cooking in the kitchen without a fan now is unbearable so I resort to oven-cooked meals instead. You chuck everything into a baking dish and enjoy comforting hot food after an hour or two. This dish is rich and flavourful, spicy, tangy and I added dates for a bit of sweetness.

Spiced roast lamb 1

Adapted from Angela Boggiano’s recipe at deliciousmagazine.co.uk

  • 1kg Lamb Joint Half Shoulder
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbs fennel seeds
  • 1 large onion – sliced
  • 2-inch piece ginger – grated
  • 1/2 bulb garlic – peeled, crushed
  • 2 tbs harissa
  • 1 can (400g) plum tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 100g dried dates – coarsely chopped
  • 2 small preserved lemons – quarted, seeds removed


  • Preheat the oven to 160C.
  • Crush the spice seeds and a good pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar.
  • With a sharp knife, make a few slits in the meat.
  • Heat the oil in a pan over a high heat. Add the lamb and brown well all over. Remove and place in a casserole dish.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent.
  • Add ginger and garlic, fry until fragrant.
  • Stir in crushed spices and harissa, fry until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes, cinnamon stick, dates and preserved lemons, bring to boil. Smash the tomatoes with your ladle. Pour this over lamb.
  • Cover and bake for about 1 1/2-2 hrs or until meat is tender.

Spiced roast lamb