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ROAST LEG OF LAMB WITH RAS EL HANOUT & Turkish spoon salad

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Serves: 4
RAS EL HANOUT
Don't be put off this recipe by the number of ingredients. The spice mix is simple to make…although you can buy it. It keeps well in a jar and can be used so many other dishes. It lends a wonderful aromatic flavour to the lamb.
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
4 teaspoons coriander seeds
16 cardamom pods
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
4 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric

Simple Pleasures

Roast lamb is a magnificent thing. The complex flavour is bold yet delicate, the texture is a study in contrasts between the crisp, flavourful exterior and the tender, juicy interior, and the heady aroma is tantalisingly good as you wait impatiently to tuck in whilst your joint is in the oven. It never ceases to amaze me how something so simple can be so good….a leg of sweet spring lamb, a couple of garlic cloves, a sprig of fresh thyme, a splash of white wine and little drizzle of olive oil and seasoning. 90 minutes in the oven at 150 degrees and job done.
The Spanish are justifiably proud of their lamb and early spring is without doubt the best time to enjoy it. The taste is sweeter and more refined at this time of year, before the hot weather arrives and the lambs start to suffer, like the rest of us, and sweat in the heat. The local Spanish breeds are small and sturdy animals and lend themselves perfectly to the long slow cooking favoured by the local restaurants throughout most of…