Sunday, 18 July 2010

MIDDLE EAST COOKING: lamb baked with lemon-juice & yoghurt

I met many interesting people when I was running my photo agencies - divers, pilots, diplomats, doctors, aid workers of whom some were jolly good photographers. Several who became friends used to pass by if they came to London. I cooked dinner for one recently who enjoyed the meal so much he wanted the recipe ---- it was shoulder of lamb baked with lemon-juice and yoghurt, from my book Middle Eastern Cooking which was first published in 1984.

Quite delicious and so easy to prepare I’ve decided to post it here for anyone else who may like to try it. I prefer to use a shoulder as the meat is usually more tender than a leg.

1 shoulder of lamb about 1 kg (2.20 lbs)
ground rock salt and black pepper
4 large cloves garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons Greek-style yoghurt

Lightly slice the skin of the shoulder. Rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Insert crushed garlic and pour 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon-juice over it. Refrigerate 3-4 hours. Remove to warm up prior to cooking in a pre-heated oven 230C/450F.

Heat oil in a roasting pan until it sizzles, then sear lamb on both sides. Turn garlic side up and cook for 30 minutes. Remove, pour over remaining lemon-juice and return to cook at about 200C/392F.

Cook a further 30 minutes, then smear with yoghurt and continue cooking until it forms a golden crust. Baste with juices from the pan and remove when tender. Depending on your own oven, total cooking time should be about 2 hours, or so.

I serve the lamb with boiled new potatoes and a green bean salad with vinaigrette sauce.

Serves 4.



  1. I am not much of a cook , but this sounds so delicious I must try it !

  2. I have cooked this exact recipe from your book and agree that it is quite delicious. It is also very easy to prepare!

  3. It sounds delicious even to this vegetarian!

  4. This recipe sounds delicious & I will attempt to cook it during our chilly winter in the mountains.



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