Lamb baked with Orzo, Tomatoes and Lemon from The Malouf’s Moorish
I also seem to have a sight obsession with lamb at the moment. Not sure why? Perhaps because of it’s suitability to so many exotic flavours?
So I made this dish, and again, it was one I had most of the ingredients for. I’m incredibly lucky that I also live mere steps from my mate Tim at UrbanFoodMarket who has become my one stop shop for awesome meat and from whom I sourced the most awesome leg of Saltbush lamb.
This recipe is perfect for winter comfort food or large gatherings where you don’t actually want to miss out on any of the action as you can start it before your guests arrive and then do the long, slow cooking in the oven after they arrive. Just a note, this recipe appears to feed an army. Halve it, seriously.
This recipe requires an easy wet spice paste that will take you just a minute to make before you get started proper
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp sea salt
Place the garlic and oil in a saucepan and saute for 1 minute, don’t let it get brown. You want to be able to smell it and for the cloves to soften slightly.
Put the garlic into a mortar with the coriander and the salt and grind to a thick paste. Spoon into a jar. It will keep for up to 2 months in the fridge.
Lamb Baked with Orzo, Tomatoes and Lemon from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s Moorish
- Olive oil (recipe calls for 60ml, I used only enough to wet the onions)
- 1.5kg lamb leg, cut into even pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 2 large onions, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon Taklia (see recipe above)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 preserved lemon, skin only, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 chillies, seeded, scraped and roughly chopped
- 2 x 400g tins tomatoes (I use chopped or crushed tomatoes)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Juice of 1 lemon (I had no lemons and used a lime)
- 1-1.5 litres of stock or water
- 500g orzo (I used risoni, same thing)
- 150g Haloumi, grated (I didn’t use this)
Preheat oven to 180°
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, season the lamb pieces with salt and pepper (I forgot to do this), quickly brown the meat in small batches then add to large casserole dish (with lid). Once you’ve done all the meat, add the onions to the frypan. Add the Taklia and cook until the onion softens. Add the paprika, preserved lemon (I only had a quarter of a preserved lemon left, so chucked in the lime I had from juicing whole), honey and chillies and continue to cook. That’s the hard part done.
Tip the onion mixture on top of the lamb in the casserole dish and stir through. Pour in the tinned tomatoes, add the cinnamon, lemon juice, and half the stock. Jack up the heat, and get it bubbling. Put the lid on and put it in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes remove from oven, add the orzo (risoni), and another 500ml of stock, mix well and place back in the oven without the lid, for about 20 minutes. Check it periodically so it doesn’t stick. At the end of the time, check that the orzo is cooked and the lamb is tender. If it’s not ready, add some more stock, and cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, and if you’re going to add the haloumi, turn on your grill to high. When it’s super hot, sprinkle the casserole with the haloumi and grill till it melts. It will be much easier to do it in individual serves depending on your grill.
Serve and enjoy!