Leg of Lamb with Blood Orange, Garlic & Ras el Hanout

This fragrant leg of lamb is seasoned with blood orange juice, garlic, cumin, ras el hanout and grains of paradise. Read more about this recipe.

Leg of Lamb with Blood Orange, Garlic & Ras el Hanout
Photo: Evan de Normandie
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins


  • 1 lamb shank (2-3 pounds), trimmed (see Tip)

  • ¼ cup blood orange juice

  • 5 large cloves garlic, divided

  • ½ teaspoon cumin

  • 2 ½ teaspoons ras el hanout, divided (see Tip)

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 4 teaspoons mixed peppercorns

  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds

  • ¼ teaspoons grains of paradise (optional; see Tip)


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Rub lamb all over with blood orange juice. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make 7 or so small incisions in the leg, spacing them evenly. Slice 1 garlic clove into narrow slivers; set aside. Mince the remaining 4 garlic cloves. Combine the minced garlic with cumin and 1/2 teaspoon ras el hanout; mash together until you have a thick paste. Slip a bit of the paste into each of the incisions in the lamb along with the garlic slivers.

  2. Place salt, peppercorns, coriander seeds, grains of paradise (if using) and the remaining 2 teaspoons ras el hanout in a spice grinder; pulse until you have a coarse mixture. Rub the mixture all over the lamb, covering it evenly. Place the lamb in a roasting pan fitted with a rack. Roast the lamb for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue to roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 140-145°F for medium-rare, 30 to 45 minutes. Allow the lamb to rest for 15 minutes before carving.


Roasting pan with rack


Lamb shanks are flavorful and easy to find, but can be small. To feed a larger crowd, ask your butcher for a bone-in leg of lamb or try a boneless leg of lamb. If using a larger cut of meat, double the spices and increase the cooking time at 350°F.

A spice blend used in Moroccan cuisine, ras el hanout means "top of the shop" and, in Morocco, the blend varies according to the taste of the spice vendor. Look for it in the spice section of your grocery store or online.

Grains of paradise, aka melegueta pepper (and not to be confused with malagueta pepper, which is a chile), is native to West Africa and is related to cardamom. It has a strong, peppery flavor with hints of citrus. Look for it at African markets or online.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

228 Calories
8g Fat
3g Carbs
34g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 228
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 34g 68%
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 104mg 35%
Vitamin A 32IU 1%
Sodium 670mg 29%
Potassium 454mg 10%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

Related Articles