This Persian Roast Lamb is one of my favourite ways to cook lamb, a very easy, straightforward marinade using some basic Persian ingredients and voilà – you’ve got yourself, a juicy, aromatic and delightful roast with a touch of the exotic!
A roast of any kind always makes a great table centrepiece, whether it is dressed to impress or straight out of the oven without a care in the world. This lamb is part of the menu for an Eid party I’m catering for this coming weekend. The clients are long standing ones and twice a year, regular as clockwork, I can expect them knocking on my door to discuss the next Persian dinner and menu.
This is going to be the first time I’m making this lamb for them, I do like to provide them with something different each party, although they do have particular requests. For eg, Morasa Polow (Persian Jewelled Rice) always makes an appearance as does some sort of kebabs.
So what makes this Persian Roast Lamb so special?
In one word (erm, 2 really) – Pomegranate Molasses. Pomegranate Molasses is a heavenly ingredient that is a cross between a mild honey and balsamic vinegar, that’s the closest comparison I can give you! However, go on ahead to the page on Pomegranate Molasses to read more about it.
The pomegranate adds depth with all its touches of tart, sweet, caramel coming into play and heightened by the other ingredients that we have, like saffron, lemon, turmeric, pepper, cumin and some honey. Sounding good to you?
There is no need to marinate the lamb at all if you don’t have time but if you do, leave it in the marinade for a couple of hours, even overnight, if you are that organised! We cut some slashes into the meat to allow the marinade to penetrate through and get soaked up by the meat fibres for a better all round flavour.
Do you often do Sunday lunch with the family and is that lunch quite often a roast? Give these flavours a try and let me know what you think. If you absolutely cannot get pomegranate molasses, and desperately want to use this recipe, get some juice with no nonsense added, place it on the hob for 20 – 30 minutes to reduce and use it. Or go the whole distance and click here for my make at home pomegranate molasses recipe.
How to serve our Persian Roast Lamb?
I always serve it with Persian dishes or other Middle Eastern ones and even North African ones. Having said that, it makes a wonderful main dish on Christmas Day, if you fancy a change from the usual Turkey.
Some ideas to serve our Persian Roast Lamb, both traditional, and otherwise:
And finish it all off with some Mahalabia (must make ahead quick dessert):
And any one of the following hot drinks:
Handy Hints on Cooking this Persian Roast Lamb
Adding the stock to our roast allows for a delicious sauce to accompany the lamb and whatever you’re serving it with. I find lamb stock overpowering, so always go for chicken when I’m cooking with lamb. That is a matter of choice, and you can always just use water but the result won’t be as potent.
With certain dishes, I can be a bit of a traditionalist. So, I’m sticking with just onions in this recipe. You could go the usual way by adding some carrots and celery if you like.
One Pot Dish
Turn this into a one pot dish by adding vegetables as mentioned above and par boiled potatoes in the last hour of cooking time.
Let’s get cooking our classy Persian Roast Lamb!
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Persian Roast Lamb – a delicious and exotic lamb roast for your dinner table.
- 1 leg or shoulder of lamb, weighing about 1.5-2kg (3.3-4.4lb)
- 1 large onion, sliced or chopped
- 250ml/1 cup chicken or vegetable stock or water
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
- 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp EV olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp liquid saffron click to learn how to make this at home
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 strip of fresh rosemary, leaves only and either pounded or finely chopped
- Preheat the the oven to 170˚C/325˚F.
- Taking a small, sharp knife, make half a dozen slashes straight down into the lamb, especially around the thicker parts.
- Mix the marinade ingredients together and rub all over the lamb, pushing down into the cuts and into the meat folds.
- Line your chosen baking dish with the chopped or sliced onions.
- Sit the lamb on the onions.
- Pour your chosen stock or water in, making sure to pour it on the onions and not the lamb.
- Cover with a foil and roast for 2 hours by which time your lamb will be almost done.
- Take the cover off and roast for another 30-60 minutes, depending on how well done you like your meat.
- When the lamb is done, you’ll have a delicious bit of sauce/gravy that you can serve separately. Just get rid of excessive fat from it first, if you like, but I don’t bother. Leave to rest for 20 minutes, covered, in a warm place. Serve as suggested above.
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: British/Persian Fusion