Roast Lamb

Fırında Kuzu Budu

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

  • About

Failing a fire pit, and shunning the barbecue as always too hot, or too slow, or just too darn small, I offer you this recipe for roast lamb. Leg is good, but shoulder is fattier and, cooked slowly, more succulent. Give yourself at least four hours to let the meat take on the marinade, and three to cook.


For the Marinade

  • wine a medium glass
  • cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • pul biber 1 tsp
  • isot biber 1 tsp
  • zest of half a lemon
  • salt 1 tbsp
  • runny honey 1 tbsp
  • leg of lamb, kg/5 lb
  • a head of garlic, peeled
  • rosemary sprigs
  • olive oil


  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Pour it over the lamb in its roasting tin and rub it in by hand. Let it marinade, covered, in the kitchen if it’s not too hot, for anything up to 24 hours, but at least four.
  • Set the oven medium hot, at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Peel and split most of the garlic cloves, and stud the meat with them slipped into holes you make with the point of your knife.
  • Finally, baste the lamb with a generous splosh of olive oil. Rub it all over. Scatter some more spices over the beast, lay it in a roasting pan on a bed of rosemary, and put it in the oven with a splash of water at the bottom of the tin.
  • Cook for forty minutes, then lower the heat to 180°C and continue cooking for another two hours, or four if you prefer. If the top blackens, cover it with silver foil. Baste every now and then.
  • Rest the meat for twenty minutes before serving.