Moroccan-Spiced Lamb

This tastes gorgeous and is very easy to prepare, but it takes an age to cook - seven hours! I first made this for my friend, Abir. Her dad is Egyptian and her mum is Irish and Abir is appropriately beautiful. I'd promised to cook her an meal that reflected her exotic lineage and found this recipe, which I was sorely tempted to serve with Colcannon.

Ingredients

2.3kg leg of lamb

4 peeled and quarter garlic cloves

800g tomatoes (pref. beefsteak), peeled, deseened and coarsely chopped

5 shallots peeled and chopped

1 stick of cinnamon

Salt and pepper

Marinade:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

half teaspoon cayenne pepper

25-30

saffron filaments, ground

Method

Set oven to 140C, Gas 1

Cut slits all over the lamb and instert slivers of garlic into each

Combine all the marinade ingredients and brush all over the lamb

Place lamb in casserole dish

Spoon tomatoes and shallots around the lamb

Add the cinnamon stick, salt and pepper

Cover and cook for two and a half hours

Stir the juices and turn the lamb

Cook for a futher two and a half hours

Stir the juices and turn the lamb

Roast uncovered for a further two hours

Transfer the lamb to a plate

Skim off excess fat from pan juices

Shred the meat with two forks

Spoon the sauce over the shredded meat

Serve with warm pitta bread and salad