Spicy Slow Cooked Lamb With Harissa

terracotta pot for slow cookingIt might still technically be summer, but with the days getting shorter I am starting to get back into the mood for slow cooked dishes, braises and roasts. This weekend we enjoyed a rather indulgent supper (the price of lamb being pretty high I know), of slow cooked lamb.

To say it was a success would be something of an understatement. And, though the meat is pricey, it has served us up 3 meals for two so far which I think is pretty good!

On with another Shiny Kitchen Recipe then…

Okay, first of you need something with a lid to cook this in. A Dutch Oven or good quality casserole would do, but I used an old-school Spanish terracotta pot or cazuelajust like the one pictured. The key is that the lid fits tightly so you conserve moisture and let the meat steam. If your lid is not so well fitting you might want to cover the lamb in oiled baking parchment too.

I get my butcher to chop the leg into two so that it fits snugly into the pot.

Now you just need to get chopping and filling your casserole with all manner of lovely things:

Recipe: Slow Cooked Leg of Lamb With Spicy Harissa Crust

Summary: Spicy harissa and slow cooked leg of lamb is simple to cook, great tasting and always a winner in our kitchen!


  • Leg of lamb on the bone (1.5 – 2 kilos)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of good quality harissa (if you feel up to it make your own as nothing is better, but this time round I used a good quality tube; le Phare du Cap Bon).2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A kilo of ripe tomatoes (halved).
  • 2 onions cut into large wedges (quartered or cut into six depending on size).
  • 4 long green peppers or 2 large bell peppers (cut into similar sized chunks as the onions).
  • 2 aubergines (cut into similar sized chunks).
  • 2 zucchini (cut into large rounds).
  • One bulb of garlic (broken into cloves but don’t bother peeling them!).
  • 3 red chilies (halved length-ways)
  • A few bay leaves.
  • A teaspoon of dried oregano.
  • Lots of black pepper and a pinch of flaky sea salt.


  1. Get your lamb out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature and put the oven on to pre-heat at around 180ºC /350ºF
  2. Pop the chopped veggies, garlic, chili and herbs into your casserole.
  3. Grind over plenty of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix well.
  4. Prepare the meat by rubbing all over with the harissa.
  5. Pop the leg of lamb on top of the vegetables and sprinkle over a little salt (not too much as harissa is pretty salty) and drizzle with the remaining spoon of olive oil.
  6. Put the lid on and pop the lamb in the oven.
  7. Check after an hour or so – there should be plenty of liquid in the casserole that is helping steam the meat slowly. If not add a little water, wine, stock or diluted tomato juice.
  8. After 2 hours 30 minutes take the lid of, and cook for another 30 minutes at 200ºC / 400ºF to crisp the top of the meat.

Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes and turn the heat up in the oven to reduce down the vegetables a little. You’ll want to cover up with a good kitchen apron when taking the meat out, since lamb can spit a little.

Quick notes

This is great served with a little Bulgar wheat salad and spicy cabbage salad. Just spoon of the vegetables into a wide bowl and top with carved meat. Spicy, succulent and simply scrumptious!

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 3 hour(s)

Diet tags: Reduced carbohydrate, High protein

Number of servings (yield): 8

Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern

My rating 5 stars:  ????? 1 review(s)



About Kelly Rockwell

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