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., July 2021


Credit: Evan de Normandie

Recipe Summary

20 mins
1 hr 10 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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

3 oz.
228 calories; fat 8g; cholesterol 104mg; sodium 670mg; carbohydrates 3g; protein 34g; sugars 1g; niacin equivalents 8mg; saturated fat 3g; vitamin a iu 32IU; potassium 454mg.