Middle Eastern Roast Lamb with Tahini Sauce
Inspired by Middle Eastern shawarma sandwiches, here we season leg of lamb with a flavorful spice paste spiked with garlic, cardamom, paprika and cumin and grill it over indirect heat to approximate the gentle cooking of a rotisserie. Serve the tahini sauce on the side—and be sure to keep any leftovers. They're great tucked into a pita pocket with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.
From EatingWell: May/June 2009
Yield: 12 servings
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 4 1/2 hours (including 2 hours marinating time)
- 8 medium cloves garlic, divided
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mace
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 4-pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied and trimmed (see Tip)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup tahini , (see Tip)
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 6 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Mince 6 garlic cloves. Place in a small bowl with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and mash into a paste using the back of a spoon. Stir in oil, mace, cardamom, paprika, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne until combined.
- Open lamb so it’s flat, with the cut side up. Spread three-quarters of the spice paste over the cut surface. Roll the lamb closed and tie in several places so it is about the shape of a large football. Spread the remaining paste over the outside. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Mince the remaining 2 garlic cloves. Combine with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl with lemon juice, tahini, parsley, yogurt, water and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- About 20 minutes before you are ready to grill, preheat a gas grill (with all burners lit) to 400°F or build a fire in a charcoal grill and let it burn down to medium heat (about 400°F).
- If using a gas grill, turn off one burner (leaving 1 to 2 burners lit, depending on your grill). If using a charcoal grill, move the coals to one side. Place the lamb on the unheated side of the grill rack. Close the lid and roast undisturbed for 30 minutes.
- Rotate the lamb 180 degrees, cover and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 140°F (for medium-rare) to 145° (for medium), 20 to 40 minutes more. Transfer to a clean cutting board; let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the tahini sauce.
- Tips: Have your butcher “butterfly” a boneless leg of lamb (that is, open it up to a large, flat cut of meat); ask that any visible fat be trimmed off.
- Tahini is a thick paste of ground sesame seeds. Look for it in large supermarkets in the Middle Eastern section or near other nut butters.
Nutrition Per serving:
257 calories; 14 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 76 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 1 g fiber; 551 mg sodium; 377 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (32% daily value), Iron & Vitamin C (15% dv).
Exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrate (other), 3 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat