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Middle Eastern roasted lamb shoulder with freekeh recipe

Middle Eastern roasted lamb shoulder with freekeh

This is a wonderful Christmas dinner dish in the Middle East. Christmas is celebrated in many Middle Eastern countries by Arab Christians. Browse more Christmas Food Recipes.


2 lamb shoulders (bone in)
3 brown onions, peeled and quartered
2 heads garlic, halved
1 litre chicken stock


3 tbsp baharat*(spice blend)
1 tbsp dry mint
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 lemons, zested and juiced
250ml white wine
4 garlic cloves, plus 2 extra heads of garlic
2 tbsp sea salt
400g freekeh* (roast wheat)
1 onion, diced
100ml pure olive oil
250g lamb, minced
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 tsp allspice, ground
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
200g spinach
1 litre chicken stock (extra)
100g almonds, flaked
Yoghurt, to serve


Pre-heat oven to 176C.

For the marinade, combine all ingredients in a food processor.

Rub the baharat marinade into the lamb and leave for at least two hours.

Take the lamb out of the marinade and reserve the liquid. Place the lamb in a roasting tray large enough that it isn't crowded. Put in the oven and leave uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until lamb starts to colour lightly.

Add the quartered onions, heads of garlic and 1lt of chicken stock to the pan. Cover tightly with foil. Turn the oven down to 135C and roast for 3-4 hours, basting occasionally with remaining marinade.

About an hour before the lamb is done, prepare the freekeh. Rinse the wheat and remove any debris or grit.

Heat half the olive oil in a pot on medium and saute the onion until lightly coloured. Add the lamb mince and spices and continue to cook until the lamb is coloured nicely and the spices are fragrant. Add the spinach; stir until wilted. Add the freekeh and stir until coated. Mix in 1lt of chicken stock and a good pinch of salt. Cook, covered, on the stove until the liquid is absorbed and the grains have swelled.

Fry the almonds in remaining olive oil, drain and reserve.
To serve, place a portion of green wheat on each plate with a piece of meat, which should be tender enough to eat with a spoon. Sprinkle with the fried almonds. Put roasting juices in a jug.

Serve with a bowl of Greek-style yoghurt and a salad of bitter greens dressed with lemon and olive oil.

Serves 6-8

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