Roast lamb, prune, pepper and saffron couscous

Serves: 4
Course: Main Course
Cooking Time: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Half leg of lamb – about 1 kg
  • 1 tbsp duck fat
  • Salt and pepper
  • 75ml olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 2cm pieces.
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika.
  • saffron, 1g or a third of a tsp
  • 10 pre-soaked prunes, cut into three
  • Zest and juice of one orange.
  • 250g instant couscous
  • 400ml water
  • A handful of fresh mint, coriander and basil, all picked and roughly chopped

1 Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius, or equivalent.

2 Place the lamb in a roasting tray, rub the duck fat all over it then season it generously. Put it the hot oven for 15 minutes, until it starts to brown, then turn the oven down to 180 degrees and cook it for a further 30 minutes.

3 When the lamb is cooked remove it from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest.

4 Put the olive oil into a frying pan then add the peppers, smoked paprika and garlic. Cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the peppers become somewhat sticky. Season and remove from the heat.

5 Add 50ml of boiling water to the saffron and allow it to sit for a little while.

6 Wait for a couple of minutes before measuring out 350ml of remaining boiling water and adding it into the couscous (boiling water makes it clumpy).

7 Add the saffron and the orange juice and zest to the couscous. Season and cover with cling film. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before loosening it with a fork.

8 Add the pepper mixture, the prunes and the herbs to the couscous and fold through gently.

9 This is perfectly lovely served at room temperature, all you need to do is carve the lamb and sit it on top. You could make raita to serve with this, or some shop-bought hummus.

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn is a chef, restaurateur and contributor to The Irish Times. He and his wife, Máire, run the Tannery restaurant and cookery school in Dungarvan, Co Waterford