Whilst there’s something to be said for leaving well alone when you know the quality of the meat is good, sometimes it’s nice to add a little extra flavour to a roast dinner. I made a very quick and simple za’atar and sumac rub for this beautiful half leg of organic Welsh lamb from Graig Farm. It worked very well, creating a spicy and robustly flavoured crust but allowing the flavour of the lamb to shine.
I still have lots of Abu Kassem’s za’atar from the trip we made to his farm in Lebanon back in 2011. Follow that link to read more about how he selectively bred from wild herbs and how he now produces za’atar that is sold across Lebanon, from his farm in the south of the country. The za’atar mix he sells includes the herb itself, dried sumac berries, toasted sesame seeds and salt.
I’m not sure of the identify of the green plant Abu Kassem calls za’atar. It’s often translated as wild thyme but the term refers to several herbaceous plants including different oreganos, savouries, marjorams and thymes. Of course, all of these herbs work well with lamb.
I added more sumac as I wanted to bring out the lemon-citrus flavour of this element of Abu Kassem’s blend.
Za’atar & Sumac Crusted Roast Leg of Lamb
1 kg half leg of lamb
2 tablespoons za’atar spice blend
1 tablespoon powdered sumac
2 tablespoons olive oil
Note: For larger or smaller legs of lamb, adjust the volume of the spice and oil rub accordingly.
Combine the za’atar, sumac and oil and mix well.
Rub the spice and oil mix all over the surface of the lamb joint.
Roast according to your normal temperature times. (I roasted for half an hour per 500 grams in a fan oven pre-heated to 180 C and my lamb was cooked to medium).
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Try Graig Farm organic Welsh lamb (or any other meat such as beef and pork) for yourself with a special discount code for Kavey Eats readers:
The code gives you 20% off orders over £50 and also includes free delivery. It’s valid until June 30th 2013 and can be used three times per household. Of course, you can pass the code on to friends and family, if they’d like to place an order for themselves.
If you haven’t decided what to have for your Easter Sunday roast, get an order in fast for a superb joint of lamb. The boned rolled shoulder was gorgeous roasted with garlic and rosemary, and the leftovers made wonderful hoisin lettuce wraps and a delicious ragu with pasta.
Kavey Eats received a sample box of organic lamb from Graig Farm.