Moroccan roast lamb

When it's grey outside this spicy lamb brings the warmth of Moroccan sunshine to the table
By Nigella Lawson
Moroccan roast lamb
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: easy



  • 1 leg of lamb, approx. 2.5kg
  • 2 tbsp ras el hanout spice blend
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunches coriander, fresh, chopped

Tips and Suggestions

Or how to make yourself feel basked in exotic, perfume-heavy sunshine when all about you is spirit-wizeningly cold and grey. For me, Moroccan is, so far, just a state of mind. In my defence, the crucial flavouring here is the very Moroccan ras-el-hanout, a musky, amber-coloured spice mix, heady with rosebuds, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, lavender, ginger, pepper, mace and, I'm not too modest to admit, Nigella, which you can, if you're lucky, find at the supermarket now (or direct from Seasoned Pioneers on 0800 0682 348). But then again, crucial is a flexible term: in place of the smokily poetic ras-el-hanout, you can add to the garlic and oil, a teaspoon of turmeric mixed with a tablespoonful each of ground coriander and cumin and a pinch each of ground cinnamon and cloves; a no less magical substitution, I promise you.


1. Make incisions all over the leg of lamb, and then mix the ras-el-hanout with the lemon juice, oil, minced garlic and coriander.

2. Using your fingers, push pinches of the mixture into the holes. Rub the remaining aromatic paste over the lamb and then put it into a large freezer bag, squeeze out any air and then tie it up and leave it to marinade in the fridge overnight, or for longer.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6, and take the lamb out of the fridge to come to room temperature.

4. Put the leg of lamb into a roasting pan, squeezing any marinade out of the bag over the meat. Roast the lamb for about an hour and a half, by which time it should be aromatically blackened on the outside, and still tender and pink within. Let the lamb rest once it comes out of the oven for at least 15 minutes, though I leave this a good hour after it's come out of the oven.

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