Monday, May 13, 2013

Roast Lamb and Couscous/ Quinoa Salad on Pita Bread

cooked my first roast when I was well into my 30s. I come from a South American background and grew up on asados (the most insanely delicious bbqs in existance) and stews. As a kid, I used to listen to school friends talk about their Sunday roasts and I would turn green with envy (I would also get very envious as I watched them open their lunchboxes and pull out their devon and tomato sauce sandwiches. We didn't do devon.)

It wasn't until I moved in with my then boyfriend-now-husband that I managed to build up the courage to try baking a roast. It seriously turned me into a nervous wreck - was it burning/ cooked/ still moving/ edible? It was all in all a very unpleasant experience. 

But I have matured (in more ways than one - and not always like a fine wine, unfortunately) and I have moved on to successfully baking roasts. Here's a recipe I found in a House and Garden magazine. It's a great one for a weekend lunch - fresh, light and healthy. Obviously not one for my vegetarian friends but I promise to start sharing some meat-free meal ideas soon. Enjoy!

Serves : quite a few
Cooking time: a long time - about 4-ish hours (maths was never my forte)


Couscous or quinoa (for a gluten-free option)
1kg lamb shoulder, boned, rolled and tied
5 tomatoes - can be cored roma tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
8 small round pita breads
2 cucumbers - I find that lebanese ones are sweeter and less bitter
2/3 cup (100g) black olives
200g fetta cheese, crumbled
1 red onion, finely sliced 
2 tbsp fresh oregano
1/2 cup (or more) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup (125ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar

How to:
Preheat oven to 200C (180C if fan forced). Place lamb on a roasting tray and season well with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes on a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Cook lamb and tomatoes at the same time but remember to remove the tomatoes after about 15 minutes unless you like the taste of charcoal - my family were almost subjected to burnt tomatoes. Almost.

Continue roasting the lamb for another 30 minutes. Remove lamb, wrap the entire tray tightly with foil and return to oven. Make sure you reduce the oven temperature to 150C (130C fan) - let it roast for another two hours. Apparently, by this stage, you will be able to push your finger through the meat. And burn it to shreds no doubt. I just stuck a knife in it. When ready , remove from oven and let it sit for approximately 30 minutes. Pull/ cut lamb into bite-size pieces. Yum.


Prepare a cup of couscous or quinoa as per packet instructions. Chop up the cucumber and mix with couscous/ quinoa, fetta, olives, sliced red onions, oregano and parsley. You can choose to throw in the lamb at this point or serve it separately. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and Bob's your uncle (or Jose in my case).

Serve with pita bread and watch everyone have fun as they make a complete mess of themselves. Provecho!


  1. why have i never been able to experience this talent you have in the kitchen?
    you go auntie son, sounds delish! xxxx

  2. Mi casa es su casa gorgeous girl. When your adventurous days of travel are done, you know where you can come and eat yourself stupid. Love you.