Moorish lamb with raisins

I love lamb, so when I saw a variation of today’s recipe in the Sunday Star Times this morning, and I was looking for something to cook for dinner, I thought – this is it!

It’s a version of a Ray McVinnie recipe from the Masterchef II book. There are several things missing from my one, compared to Ray’s, but you’ll have to buy the book to work out the difference. Needless to say Ray’s dish is probably going to be wonderful – mine I can guarantee was wonderful.


  • extra virgin olive oil (I’ve been using Al Brown’s olive oil – it’s superb)
  • one butterflied leg of lamb (available from Moore Wilsons for around $24)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 carrot diced into small pieces
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds coarsely ground in a mortar and pestle
  • splash of fruit juice
  • handful of raisins soaked in 100ml dark red port
  • 100 ml beef stock

Preheat your oven to 150ºC.

Cut all the fat from your butterflied leg of lamb. You’ll see that the lamb can be easily separated into three unequal portions. I used the smallest, and the middle sized pieces and reserved the largest for a Kashmiri curry for tomorrows dinner.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Gently fry in olive oil in a pan for three to four minutes each side. As soon as the meat is seared wrap loosely in tinfoil and place in moderate oven to finish.

Meanwhile add the onion, garlic, carrot, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds to the pan. Fry until at least the onion is soft and lightly browned. Add a splash of any fruit juice you have in the fridge. Reduce this a little.

Add the port and raisins (which have been soaking for at least 30 minutes – mine were in there for a couple of hours). Add the beef stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Keep boiling until the liquid is reduced by half. At this point it should be quite syrupy and sweet.

Remove the lamb from the oven and let it rest. When ready slice it thinly. Plate individually with potatoes, and spoon the vegetable mixture over the meat. Top it off with your favourite fresh herb.

It’s a very tasty dish and perfectly simple to do for a dinner party. It’s bound to impress.


Moorish lamb - with raisins soaked in port

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