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Jon’s ‘laid-back’ Easter lamb recipe

Jon’s ‘laid-back’ Easter lamb recipe

247 ratings

Even though Easter is looking a little different for Jon this year, he still wants to celebrate properly with a fancy lamb dish. To get the ultimate flavour, he toasts the spices to release lots of aroma, caramelises the meat, and strains the yogurt into labneh... then heads back to bed while the oven works its magic. See method

  • Serves 8
  • 1 hr to prepare and 7 hrs 00 mins to cook
  • 562 calories / serving
  • Gluten-free


  • 1 tsp each cumin and coriander seeds
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp baharat seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2kg bone-in leg of lamb
  • 15g fresh thyme
  • 1ltr pomegranate juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1kg Greek-style yogurt, mixed with ½ tsp salt
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 150ml cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

To serve

  • couscous (optional)
  • 15g fresh mint leaves
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
  • 25g pistachios, roughly chopped (optional)

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    32g 45%
  • Saturates

    16g 81%
  • Sugars

    27g 30%
  • Salt

    1.5g 26%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 29g Protein 41.2g Fibre 1.2g


155x255 JonsLamb

  1. Toast the seeds in a dry frying pan for 2 mins until fragrant. Grind with a pestle and mortar, then add the garlic, baharat, salt, oil, and lemon juice and zest. Grind until smooth, then rub over the lamb.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas ½, 130°C, fan 110°C. Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the lamb and sear all over until well browned.
  3. Transfer the lamb to a large casserole dish with the thyme. Pour in the pomegranate juice and drizzle over the honey. Cover tightly with the lid and cook for 6-7 hrs until the meat falls off the bone.
  4. To make the labneh, place a muslin cloth in a sieve over a bowl, then spoon the salted Greek yogurt into the centre. Leave to strain in the fridge.
  5. Put the onions in a heatproof bowl. Put the cider vinegar, sugar and 150ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour the liquid over the onions in the bowl, stir and set aside while the lamb cooks.
  6. Once the lamb is cooked, remove from the dish and set aside to rest. Heat the cooking juices over a medium heat until syrupy.
  7. Shred the lamb with 2 forks and toss in the cooking juices. Serve piled on top of couscous, if you like. Top with the labneh, onions, mint, pomegranate seeds and pistachios, if using.

Tip: To serve 4, simply halve all the ingredients, use a 1kg half leg joint in a medium sized casserole dish and reduce the lamb cooking time to 4 hours. Top with the labneh, onions, mint, pomegranate seeds and pistachios, if using.

Leftovers: Got leftover roast lamb? Turn it into a comforting Spiced leftover lamb Shepard's pie, a light Lamb and tzatziki pitta for lunch, or a Speedy warm lamb rice salad for a quick dinner.

See more Lamb recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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