Shuwa with fragrant rice

  • Main
  • medium
  • 6
  • 2 hours 30 minutes, plus overnight marinading


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Roast lamb shuwa

Fragrant rice

In a large pestle and mortar, crush the garlic cloves with the sea salt to create a smooth paste
Add in all the dry spices, followed by the lemon juice and olive oil. Blend into the garlic paste until evenly combined
Rub the spice paste all over the lamb, working it in thoroughly to completely and evenly cover the meat. Cover the lamb and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge
Before cooking, preheat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 1 and remove the lamb from the fridge to bring it back up to room temperature
Wrap the leg in the banana leaves, making sure it is fully enclosed. Place in a deep baking tray with any seams from the wrapping facing down to help the leaves stay in place during cooking
Cover the tray with tin foil, then bake in the oven for 1–2 hours – check the meat after an hour, as the exact cooking time will depend on the weight and thickness of the joint. The lamb should be tender and still slightly pink in the centre when done
Allow the lamb to rest, still covered, for about 30 minutes while cooking the rice
Place the saffron threads in a small bowl or cup and cover with 60ml warm water. Leave to soak until adding to the rice
Pour the olive oil into a large heavy-bottomed pan and place over a low heat. Gently sauté the onion for a few minutes until softened and translucent
  • 30ml of olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
Roughly break up the vermicelli and stir into the oil, allowing the pieces to colour and brown in the oil
Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil, then mix in the soaked saffron threads and dry spices. Cover everything with the stock and bring up to the boil
Cover the pan with a lid. Keeping the heat low, allow to cook for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated. Fluff up the rice with a fork, adding a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving
To serve, unwrap the rested lamb and carve into generous slices. Serve immediately with the rice on the side
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