1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (80g), chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup (40g) pinenuts
1 boneless lamb neck, approx. 700g
2 tsp za’atar
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (125ml) white wine
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
200g Greek style yoghurt
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160º fan-forced).
2. For the stuffing: Add 2 tablespoons oil to a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook only until softened. Stir in the garlic and pine nuts and cook one minute until pine nuts are golden. Add spinach only to wilt. Remove from heat and mix well. Cool.
3. Place lamb flat on a large sheet of plastic wrap and beat with a meat mallet to as even a thickness as possible. Season with a little of the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange stuffing along the middle of the lamb. Starting with the thinnest edge of the rectangle of lamb, gently but firmly roll up the lamb, using the cling film to keep the shape tight and even, until the lamb forms a neat roll. (Chill for 30 minutes or overnight, if time, to firm up. If overnight, remove from fridge 1 hour before cooking.) Remove the cling film and tie 6 or more pieces of string around lamb to hold it in place. Mix spices, salt and pepper and rub over lamb.
4. Heat remaining oil in a large ovenproof pan over high heat. Add lamb and cook, turning occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes each side). Add stock and wine, cover with lid, bring to the simmer over medium heat, then place in oven and cook until lamb is tender and cooked through, approx. 60 mins. Uncover for last 15 minutes. Remove to a warm place to rest for 10 minutes and remove string.
5. For the dressing, combine all ingredients, then stir in 2 tablespoons of the roasting pan juices.
6. To serve, carve the lamb into thick slices and divide equally among four warm serving plates. Drizzle over dressing. Serve with lamb fat roast vegetables.
Wine match: Sangiovese
Styling: Michaela Le Compte, Food Prep: Danny Taplin, Photography: John Paul Urizar