What’s cooking today: Deboned leg of lamb in a spicy marinade

What’s cooking today: Deboned leg of lamb in a spicy marinade
Tony Jackman’s deboned leg of lamb in a spicy marinade of toasted caraway, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds with lemon, garlic, chilli and olive oil. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Caraway is a spice often overlooked, but it adds an indefinable something to a marinade for lamb along with the more common marriage of cumin, fennel and coriander.

Try this for a 36-hour marinade for a deboned leg of lamb, deboned all by yourself. Just follow the bone and be sure to keep the whole piece of lamb intact, and every time you do it you’ll be more practised at this kitchen art worth having in your arsenal. Along with the toasted seeds, which you crush with a mortar and pestle after toasting them in a dry pan, are lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic and dried chilli flakes. All of that, plus time.


2 Tbsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp caraway seeds

1 Tbsp coriander seeds

1 Tbsp fennel seeds

1 Tbsp dried chilli flakes

Juice of 2 lemons

⅓ cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped


Black pepper


Toast the seeds in a dry pan, then crush them using a mortar and pestle or grind them. Mix the spices with the remaining ingredients and douse the leg of lamb in it, rubbing it in all over.

Marinate in the fridge for 36 hours.

Braai over medium coals for 25 to 40 minutes, turning several times. Apply more marinade while cooking if there is any left over. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the leg you have. Test for doneness by inserting a skewer. Pink juices for medium rare, if it runs red it’s underdone. Clear juices and oh dear… DM/TGIFood

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]

SUBSCRIBE: There’s much more from Tony Jackman and his food writing colleagues in his weekly TGIFood newsletter, delivered to your inbox every Saturday. Subscribe here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.


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