Slow-roast mechoui lamb leg with mint labneh

Slow-roast mechoui lamb leg with mint labneh

  • serves 6
  • Easy

Mechoui lamb is traditionally roasted in a pit for hours to give meltingly tender meat. Long, slow cooking in a low oven replicates this.





  • butter 100g, softened
  • ground allspice 1/2 tsp
  • hot smoked paprika ½ tsp
  • ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  • turmeric 1/2 tsp
  • ground cumin 1/2 tsp
  • chilli flakes 1/2 tsp
  • ground black pepper 1/2 tsp
  • ginger a large walnut-sized piece, finely grated
  • leg of lamb 1 (about 2kg)
  • garlic 3 cloves, cut into slivers
  • onions 2 large, cut into thick, 3cm round slices
  • middle-eastern flatbreads heated to serve


  • greek yogurt 500ml
  • mint a small bunch, chopped
  • olive oil


  • spring onions 1 bunch chopped, including green bits
  • lemon 1, zested and juiced
  • coriander a bunch, chopped
  • giant couscous 300g


  • Step 1

    To make the labneh, mix the yogurt, mint and ½ tsp salt. Put in a sieve lined with muslin or a clean j-cloth over a bowl and leave to drain overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, tip out into a dish and drizzle with a little olive oil.

  • Step 2

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140/gas 3. Mix the butter with the spices and ginger and season with ½ tsp salt. Make incisions all over the lamb, deep enough to hold the garlic slivers and poke them in. Pat the lamb dry with kitchen paper then rub the spiced butter all over it, and season with salt.

  • Step 3

    Put the slices of onion in the bottom of a roasting tin and sit the lamb on top. Pour around a small teacup of water. Cover tightly with a double-layer tent of foil, then put in the oven. Cook for 5 hours, then take the foil off, turn the oven up to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, and cook for another ½ hour. Rest it while you make the couscous.

  • Step 4

    Put the spring onions, lemon juice and zest and coriander into a large bowl and season well. Cook the couscous in boiling salted water until just tender, about 6-8 minutes (don’t let it get too mushy). Drain really well then tip into the spring onion bowl and toss.

  • Step 5

    Serve the lamb carved into chunks with the couscous, mint labneh, flatbreads and the cooking juices from the tin.


Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 882
  • Fat 47.9g
  • Saturates 25.9g
  • Carbs 48.9g
  • Fibre 4.6g
  • Protein 61.7g
  • Salt 1.6g