Suntanned Pan-Lamb with dates, mint & nuts
Mel’s note: Leg of lamb is fabulous for this dish, but will take about 30 minutes to cook, first on stove top then finish in oven. Lamb back strap is twice as expensive BUT you can cook those down in about 8 minutes so you are practically paying for time and tenderness. Either way this will be delicious, and try this with your next lamb loin chops as well for a fabulous tread. Want to use shoulder…no problem, I have a recipe for that too! See my next post!
1 – 1.5kg leg of lamb, deboned and sinews removed (or use 600-800g lamb back strap or lamb rump)
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ras el hanout or cumin powder
Salt and pepper to season
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 cup dates, chopped. You can also use figs..
½ cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
½ cup nuts of your choice (I suggest almonds, cashews and pistachios)
Preheat oven to 200°C. Only if you are using the leg…
Debone the lamb (if required). Make a rub with the turmeric, ras el hanout and oil. Rub this all over the lamb and allow it to rest while the pan heats.
Heat a frying pan (that can go in the oven) and when hot place the lamb in it. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side – this is to seal the lamb. Place the lamb (on the frying pan you just used) into the oven for 10-15 minutes. The exact time required will depend on the shape of the meat, your oven and personal preferences.
Remove the lamb from the oven and allow to rest before slicing.
For the date accompaniment – combine the dates, mint and nuts together.
Serve on a rocket salad, with cumin and honey glazed roasted carrots, spiced yoghurt and with a butterbean mash.