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Food

Ottolenghi's barbecued leg of lamb with almonds

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 6

The weather's so cold at the moment that we're all dreaming of being transported to a warm, sun-drenched Mediterranean haven. This weekend, Yotam Ottolenghi is indulging our holiday dreams with his new TV show Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Feast, which sees him travelling the Med in search of exotic flavours and the best street food.

This Sunday he's in Marrakech, uncovering the secrets of Moroccan cuisine (there's much more to it than tagines and couscous).

To get you in the mood, try cooking his barbecued leg of lamb this weekend – a fruity, fragrant treat.

Ottolenghi's Medieterranean Feast starts on Sunday 24 February on Channel 4 at 7pm.

Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Feast starts on Sunday 24 February on Channel 4 at 7pm.

Ingredients

  • 1 x 1.5kg leg of lamb, deboned and trimmed
  • 3 red peppers, deseeded and cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • FOR THE MARINADE:
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp thyme leaves, picked
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 175g whole blanched almonds
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp orange blossom water (optional)
  • ½ x 28g pack mint, finely chopped
  • ½ x 31g pack coriander, leaves only, finely chopped

Method

  1. To make the marinade, mix the garlic, lemon zest and juice, thyme leaves, olive oil, 1½ teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper together in a large bowl.
  2. Cut the lamb into 4 or 5 even pieces and add to the marinade. Use your hands to massage the marinade into the meat. Put in the fridge and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220ºC, fan 200°C, gas 7. Put a griddle pan on a high heat, drizzle the peppers with the oil, sprinkle over ¼ teaspoon of salt and place them on the griddle pan.
  4. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning once, until charred on all sides. Set aside to cool, then cut into 2cm-wide strips.
  5. Put the lamb pieces on the hot griddle pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until charred all over and starting to caramelise.
  6. Transfer to a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 4 minutes for medium-rare meat (leave it for a few minutes longer if you like your lamb well done). Remove from the oven, cover the tray with foil and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small pan and add the almonds. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously, until the nuts are golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
  8. Put the almonds in a food processor and roughly crush. Mix in the lemon zest and juice, honey, orange blossom water (if using), ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and the remaining olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
  9. Carve the lamb into 1cm-thick slices and arrange it on a platter along with the peppers. Add the freshly chopped herbs to the sauce and spoon it over the top. Serve any remaining sauce on the side.

Tip

You can sear the meat, grill the peppers and make the sauce (without the herbs) in advance, then finish the meat and add the herbs to the sauce at the very last minute.

ottolenghi---lamb.jpg

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