Middle Eastern Leg of Lamb

Cuisinart original

It seems as though Middle Eastern spices were created to go with lamb; this recipe will definitely show you why! The potatoes and onions roast right alongside the meat, making this an impressive and easy main dish for your next dinner party night. Leftover lamb is great sliced for sandwiches, spread with our Yogurt Tahini Sauce (page 29). 


Makes 8 to 10 servings


1          teaspoon cumin seeds

1          teaspoon coriander seeds

1½       teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

½         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling

4          garlic cloves

4          fresh oregano sprigs, leaves only

½         teaspoon cayenne

1/3         cup olive oil, divided

½         teaspoon ground cinnamon

1          boneless leg of lamb, 2½ to 3 pounds

1          pound red potatoes, scrubbed, halved and cut into ¼-inch half moons

12        pearl onions, peeled and halved (alternatively, 2 shallots, sliced, can be used in place of the pearl onions)

            Pita bread, toasted and kept warm for serving

Nutritional information

Nutritional information per serving (lamb; based on 10 servings):

Calories 270 (46% from fat) • carb. 11g • sugars. 1g • pro. 25g • fat 14g • sat. fat 3g

∙ chol. 37mg • sod. 441mg • calc. 30mg • fiber 1g


Prepare the marinade for the lamb: Put the cumin and coriander seeds in a small, dry skillet set over medium heat. Cook until seeds are just toasted and fragrant. Remove. Put the toasted seeds into the chopping cup with the grinding blade along with the salt, pepper, garlic, oregano and cayenne. Pulse a few times to break up, scraping down as needed. Then add ¼ cup of the olive oil and process until a paste has formed.

Rub the paste all over the lamb (if it was tied or netted, be sure to remove string or netting so the lamb can be evenly coated). Transfer to a large mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, or place lamb in a 2-gallon re-sealable bag. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 400°F, with rack in the middle of the oven. Remove lamb from bowl/bag and tie well with butcher’s twine. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Add the potatoes and onions, and toss with the remaining olive oil and a couple pinches of salt and a pinch of pepper. Place the tied, marinated lamb on top of potatoes and onions, centered in the pan.

Put the lamb in the oven. Roast for about 50 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 130°F, for medium rare. Allow it to rest for
10 minutes.

Transfer lamb to a stable cutting board. Using the knife attachment on Speed 5, slice the lamb thinly and serve with the roasted potatoes, onions, Yogurt Tahini Sauce and toasted pita bread.