Roasted Spiced Lamb (Mechoui)

Mechoui is a popular lamb dish throughout North Africa, each country has its own variation but they are all spiced with various local spices. Make this at home, served with small warmed pita breads, warmed in the oven and a light minted yogurt sauce on the side; shred the meat with your hands if you wish to make it easier to fill the pita !

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7-8 lbs lamb (shoulder and rib portion is best)
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
4 oz melted butter
salt to taste


Preheat oven to 170°C

1. Rinse the meat.

2. Mix together the paprika, cumin, butter and salt and spread over the lamb.

3. Loosen some of the skin just under the shoulder and put a little of the mixture inside.

4. Cook in a moderately hot oven with the fleshy part of the meat facing down. Add a glass of water and baste with the resulting juices from time to time so that the meat does not become dry.

5. After two and a half hours, turn the meat over, and cook the other side until golden brown.

6. Continue cooking for another thirty minutes, then remove once you have checked that the meat is tender enough to be torn off with your fingers.

7. Arrange on a dish without the gravy. Eat while piping hot, seasoned with cumin and salt.

*Play around with the spices you use to make your personal variation of the traditional Mechoui!

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