A Sunday Well Spent: Israeli Roast Lamb


Don’t freak out! I’ve made this 8-hour Israeli Lamb recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller loads of times and while it sounds like a long time the actual prep is easy. Spend an hour in the kitchen in the morning and you don’t have to do anything until you’re ready for dinner.

Why do I love it? Eating healthy, whole foods can be expensive but if you invest some time on the weekend – making jars of pesto, Asian mince for easy dinners, and hearty soups, bolognese or a lamb roast when it’s cold outside – it becomes cost effective, and sets you up for easy lunches and dinners mid-week.

My love of food comes from my parents who both love cooking, albeit very different things. We always had big cook ups – which meant for plenty of leftovers and homemade frozen meals. This has definitely influenced the way I think in the kitchen.


  • 2 tbsp each coriander and cumin seeds, and sumac, plus extra sumac to serve
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemons, rind finely grated, lemons thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lamb shoulder (about 1.8kg)
  • Himalayan salt and pepper 


Preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius. Pound your spices, garlic and 2 tsp Himalayan salt in a mortar and pestle until you’ve made a coarse paste, then mix in oil.    

With a small sharp knife, make incisions in the lamb at regular intervals. Rub paste all over lamb.

Layer lemon slices over the base of a deep oven dish, French oven or slow cooker and place lamb on top. Pour 250ml water into the pan and roast for 30 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 120C, cover pan with foil or lid and cook, basting occasionally, until very tender (7 hours), removing foil for last hour of cooking to crisp the skin.

Serve with steamed greens or salad, cauliflower mash or my couscous.

Hot tip: If you’re not going to be home for a while, add 500ml good quality chicken or vegetable stock into the pan before turning the heat down to 120C.