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Slow-roast lamb and yogurt orzo

Serves: 6
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Slow-roast lamb and yogurt orzo
Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Slow-roast lamb and yogurt orzo

This Mediterranean-style lamb roasts for 4 hours, a great dish for fuss-free weekend entertaining

Serves: 6
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)


  • 1.8kg-2kg lamb shoulder (on the bone)
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
For the yoghurt orzo
  • 250g orzo pasta
  • ½ x 30g pack flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ x 20g pack dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g pine nuts, toasted
  • 50g currants
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g full-fat Greek yogurt (the thick one, not Greek-style)

Step by step

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3 and line a roasting tin with baking paper. Put the lamb in the tin, drizzle with the oil and rub all over to coat.
  2. Mix the oregano, ground coriander, paprika and garlic granules together, sprinkle all over the lamb, top and underside, rubbing it in and seasoning generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Roast for 4 hours.
  3. About 20 minutes before the lamb will finish cooking, make the yogurt orzo. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the orzo to the packet instructions. Put the fresh herbs, dried mint, cinnamon, pine nuts and currants into a heatproof bowl along with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper and 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil. Once the orzo is cooked, drain into a sieve and set aside.
  4. Using the same pan over a medium heat, add the yogurt, 100ml of boiling water from the kettle and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Stirring almost constantly for a couple of minutes, heat the yogurt up, but gently, so as not to curdle it. Once the yogurt is hot, remove the pan from the heat. Add the orzo to the bowl with the fresh herb mixture and then pour over the yogurt sauce and mix everything really well until evenly combined and creamy. If you'd like your sauce to be a little looser, just add a little more boiling water to slacken it, stir well again and serve. 
  5. Remove the lamb from the oven, shred a little using two forks and serve with the yogurt orzo.

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