Chefs' Recipes

Shane Delia's 12-hour roast lamb with pistachio and green-olive tabbouleh

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for 12-hour roast lamb with pistachio and green-olive tabbouleh by Shane Delia from Melbourne restaurant Maha.

By Shane Delia
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 12 hrs cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 6
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Shane Delia: 12-hour roast lamb with pistachio and green-olive tabbouleh
"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.


  • 30 gm (¼ cup) cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic heads
  • 2 tbsp sumac
  • Zested rind of 3 lemons
  • 2 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 lamb leg (2.4kg), shank end detached
Green-olive tabbouleh
  • 200 gm pistachio kernels
  • 100 gm coarse burghul
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup (loosely packed) mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 150 gm Sicilian green olives, pitted, crushed
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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).
  • 3
    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.
  • 4
    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 .
Drink Suggestion: Bottle-aged Coonawarra cabernet. Drink suggestion by Max Allen