Eggs baked in tomatoes with crisp pancetta, basil and soldiers.
1 boned lamb leg, about 2 kg, skin on
Flat bread, salad leaves, yogurt and lemon wedges to serve
2 Tbs ground cumin
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick broken into small pieces
1 Tbs sweet paprika
2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbs sea salt
1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
60 ml olive oil
To make spice paste:
Heat a small frying pan over high heat. Add the cumin, peppercorns and cinnamon. Shake the pan and cook for just a few seconds, until the spices smoke and pop.
Tip into a bowl and stir in the paprika, ginger and salt.
Allow to cool, then grind the spices to a rough powder, using a spice mill or a mortar and pestle. Stir in the coriander, garlic and oil to make a paste.
Rub the paste all over the lamb and refrigerate for 6 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Sit the lamb, skin side up, in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, by which time the spice rub will be aromatic.
Add 250 ml cold water to the pan, pouring it all around the lamb, not over it (you don’t want to wash off the seasonings). Cover the pan firmly with a couple of layers of foil.
Turn the oven down to 150°C and bake for 4 hours, or until the lamb is fall-apart tender.
Remove the lamb from the oven. Leave covered for 20-30 minutes, to rest and cool slightly.
Shred the lamb using tongs or forks, or serve it in large chunks, wrapped in flat bread, with salad leaves, yogurt and lemon wedges.
This is a dish that will easily stand up to a dark ale.
Mortar and pestle or spice mill