Lamb with harissa and pomegranate dressing

Not in the mood for a bird this Christmas? That’s okay, we have a succulent lamb recipe to truly light up your Christmas table. This one, with a spicy North African harissa kick, will look festive and summery dressed in coriander, mint and pomegranate jewels.

lamb-first

Ingredients (serves 8):

For the lamb:
1 leg of lamb, weighing around 2.5–3kg, de-boned and butterflied. Ask your butcher to do this for you.
2 Tbsp sweet smoked paprika
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
2–3 garlic cloves

For the dressing:
100–200ml Pronto Mama Harissa Paste (depending on how hot you like it), plus a little extra for basting
500ml thick Greek yoghurt
1 large handful of black olives, pitted
Freshly chopped mint, parsley and coriander. Keep some aside to serve.
1 pomegranate

To serve:
100g toasted almond flakes and sesame seeds, optional

Method:

1. Light the braai or preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Ask your butcher to debone the lamb leg (or buy it butterflied). Open it up and if there is a part that is much thicker than the rest, cut a small slit through it. This will allow it to cook evenly.

filleting-the-lamb

3. Rub the lamb leg with smoked paprika, coriander seeds and a bit of olive oil.

seasoning-the-lamb

4. Make a few small incisions with a knife and fill with slithers of garlic.
5. Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes whilst you wait for the coals.
6. While you wait for the lamb to marinade, make your dressing. Mix together the harissa paste, yoghurt, olives and herbs. Lastly, stir through the pomegranate seeds.
7. Place the lamb in a roasting tray, baste with a bit of harissa, cover with foil and pop in the oven for 30 minutes. This is so you don’t burn that outer crust on the braai (if you like, however, cook it all over the coals using indirect heat).
8. Remove the lamb from the oven and place on the coals to cook for about 10 minutes on each side, this will give you pink lamb. Leave it on the coals for a bit longer if you’d like it well done. Baste occasionally with the harissa. If you’d prefer to cook it in the oven, just pop the lamb under the grill for the same amount of time as you would cook it on the braai.
9. Remove from the braai or oven and allow to rest.

lamb-final

Serve the lamb with the chunky dressing and sprinkle over the toasted seeds and almonds. What a champion Christmas lunch this one is. We hope it makes it onto your festive spread this year.