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 – many of them were jolly good photographers and several who became friends would visit if they came to London. I cooked dinner for one recently who enjoyed the meal so much that he wanted the recipe. 

It was shoulder of lamb baked with lemon-juice and yoghurt, from my book Middle Eastern Cooking, first published in 1984. A delicious meal, it is so easy to prepare that I’ve  posted it here for anyone who may like to try it. I prefer to use a shoulder as the meat is usually sweeter 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 the meat 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.

Images: www.copix.co.uk

About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: www.worldreligions.co.uk. Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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4 Responses to MIDDLE EAST COOKING: lamb baked with lemon-juice & yoghurt

  1. Daisy says:

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

  2. Rosie says:

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

  3. Mimi Forsyth says:

    It sounds delicious even to this vegetarian!

  4. Anonymous says:

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

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