30 gm(¼ cup) cumin seeds2garlic heads2 tbspsumacZestedrind of 3 lemons2 tbspsea salt flakes1lamb leg (2.4kg), shank end detachedGreen-olive tabbouleh200 gmpistachio kernels100 gmcoarse burghul1 cup(loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped1/3 cup(loosely packed) mint leaves, coarsely chopped150 gmSicilian green olives, pitted, crushed 4garlic cloves, crushedFinelygrated rind and juice of 1 lemon2 tbspolive oil
Dry-roast cumin seeds, cool slightly, then coarsely pound in a mortar and pestle and set aside. Pound garlic in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of sea salt until a coarse paste forms, add cumin seeds, sumac, lemon rind and sea salt flakes and grind until a paste forms.
Score lamb with a sharp knife and rub garlic paste over lamb. Place in an airtight non-reactive container and refrigerate to marinate (2 days).
Preheat oven to 110C. Transfer lamb to a roasting pan and roast, basting occasionally, until the meat falls from the bone and the outside is golden brown and sticky (12 hours). Remove from oven and keep warm.
For green-olive tabbouleh, increase oven to 170C. Scatter pistachios on an oven tray and roast until golden (4-6 minutes). Cool, then coarsely crush and set aside in a large bowl. Meanwhile, place burghul in a bowl, cover completely with warm water and stand until tender (30-40 minutes). Drain well, then add to pistachios with remaining ingredients, season to taste and serve with warm lamb.
This recipe is from the April 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
“This is the heart and soul of Maha; it sums up what we’re about. Good product, simple and humble cooking, maximum flavour. Try to find a lamb with a good covering of fat because there are no added fats in the cooking process and this will help it to stay moist.” You’ll need to begin this recipe 3 days ahead.