Greek tomato-baked lamb with orzo
Slow, slow-cooked lamb becomes fork-tender over five hours. Serve with green beans or wilted silverbeet, tossed in olive oil.
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Greek tomato-baked lamb with orzo. Food preparation and styling by Caroline Velik. Photo: Marina Oliphant
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and pepper
- 2.5kg leg of lamb on bone, fat trimmed
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 400g orzo, risoni or kritharakia (rice-shaped pasta)
- 1 litre hot chicken stock or water
- Coriander sprigs for serving
Heat oven to 160C. Mix one tablespoon tomato paste, garlic, one tablespoon olive oil, sea salt and pepper and rub over the lamb. Place in a lightly oiled roasting pan with two cups water and bake for two hours. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake for three hours.
Heat remaining olive oil and gently fry onions for 15 minutes until softened. Add remaining tomato paste, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon, cumin, allspice, sea salt and pepper, stirring, then add orzo, mixing well.
Drain off most of the lamb juices from roasting pan and arrange orzo mixture around meat. Increase heat to 200C. Add hot stock or water and bake for 10 minutes or until orzo is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid.
Remove lamb, thickly slice, and serve with orzo. Scatter with coriander and serve.