Roast Lamb with Paprika Rub

Lamb that is cooked for 5hrs has become a bit of a traditional method of cooking larger cuts of lamb since I discovered the Shawarma recipe, which was brilliant. This roast is accompanied by roast pumpkin, carrots and onions and therefor perfect for a cold autumn day.


For the rub:

  • 2 tbs paprika powder, mild
  • 1 tbs paprika powder, hot
  • 1 tbs cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground seasalt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 6 tbs groundnut oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2.5kg leg of lamb, bone in
  • 1 small pumpkin (I used a butternut squash)
  • 5 large, thick carrots
  • 5 onions

Serves 8


Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a spice blender. I use the chopping cup attachment of a stick blender for this. Blend really well until you get a thick paste.
Prick the lamb all over with a knife, then rub the spice paste over and into the meat. If you have an injection needle, you can inject some of the marinade into the meat as well. Leave to marinade overnight for the best results.

Bake the lamb in a large roasting tin (remember all those vegetables!) on 180°C for 30-45 minutes, depending on how quickly the spices brown. You want the spice rub to get brown and a bit crisp, but don’t let it get too close to burning as the lamb does need another 4.5 hours in the oven.
Cover the lamb loosely with tin foil and slide it back into the oven to bake for 3.5 hours. The total including the initial bake as explained above should be at least 4 hours. Baste the lamb every hour. If there is not enough liquid after the first hour, add half a cup of water to the tray to avoid the spices burning at the bottom of the roasting tin.

Chop the pumpkin and carrots into large chunks. Peel the onions but leave the base intact. Cut each onion into 6-8 wedges.
Baste the lamb once more, then toss the vegetables with the juices in the roasting tin next to the lamb. Cover the roasting tin again and bake for another hour.
Take the lamb out of the roasting tin and place it on a wooden chopping board (wooden to not cool the lamb too much during resting). Cover it loosely with the tin foil that was over the roasting tin and leave the lamb to rest for 15 minutes. In the mean time, toss the vegetables in the roasting tin around in the juices and spread them out evenly. Place the roasting tin back in the oven, uncovered, and up the temperature to 210°C.

After 15 minutes of resting, slice the lamb into 5mm (1/5th inch) thick slices. When you are done slicing, the vegetables will have had enough time in the oven too (about 30min).
Place the lamb back into the roasting tin and serve together.