Saltbush lamb roast on Israeli couscous

I bought some Israeli couscous from Victoria Market a few weeks ago and never got round to making any till last week. I had a complete disaster. There wasn’t anything wrong with the couscous. It is easy to cook but it was the not so fresh ingredients that I bought.

After a big night out last Friday, we ended up nursing ourselves on the couch on Saturday day and thus missed out on farmers market and all those fresh lovely ingredients. I bought some calamari, mangoes and avocado next day at Footscray to make a nice light salad with the couscous and it flopped. It failed because the calamari was not fresh, the mango and avocado was at their near end of life. It just shows how fresh and good ingredients plays such an important role in how a plate of food taste and make me feel! I could not finish my dinner. It was really bad.

Learning from our lesson, we made an early start to Gaswork on Saturday. It felt good waking up fresh and no nasty hangovers. There were so many beautiful fresh produce and my best buy was a gorgeous butterflied leg of Saltbush lamb. We will usually get the shanks as the leg is too big for 2 of us but it was a really good bargain at $30 per leg. Since we are on a budget as we are saving for our lovely trip to Bali, I thought it will be a good idea to roast it and use on various weekday meals ;)

Rosemary, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, paprika

Rosemary, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, paprika

I did not put a measurement to this recipe because this meal was really adhoc and it is all about your own individual taste. You may like more heat and add more paprika. Or you do not like too much salt and so add less. Play around with the measurements. Taste the marinate as you go along. :) This piece of lamb is so good, it did not need too much to make it

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg of Saltbush lamb deboned (left with a shank bone)
  • 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
  • A handful of salt
  • Fair amount of black peppercorns
  • A good dosh of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of Spanish garlic
  • A big pinch of paprika
  • 1 cup of Israeli couscous
  • Julienned parsley
  • 200ml Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 lemon
Marinated Saltbush lamb

Marinated Saltbush lamb

Method:

  1. Pound rosemary, garlic, sea salt, black peppercorns together. Does not need to be pasty. Add a good dosh of olive oil and paprika (as much or as little as you want) and give it a good swirl
  2. The lamb had been butterflied so I created silts on both sides of the meat and rubbed and massaged the marinate all over and getting some into the silts
  3. Place the lamb in a 180 preheated oven (20-25mins per 500g – thanks @urbanfoodmarket for the tip)
  4. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow it to rest while preparing the couscous. Place 1 cup of couscous into 11/2 cups of water. Simmer and stir until cook
  5. Add a knob of butter, salt, pepper and paprika and mix through. Add the julienned parsley and give it another mix
  6. Add juice of 1/2 lemon, pinch of paprika, tiny bit of salt to the Greek yoghurt and mix
  7. Place thinly sliced lamb on top of the couscous and top it with the lemon flavoured yoghurt. Eat!
Roasted saltbush lamb out of the oven

Roasted saltbush lamb out of the oven

Israeli couscous or Ptitim is a type of pasta and is made from baked wheat and not semolina like the normal couscous we are all familiar with. It is quite similar to the Italian Orzo and looks like tiny pearls. When cooked, the texture should be al dente. A little chewy but not offensive. Mister loved it and I am sure I will be cooking more of it. It is versatile and can be used in salads or acts as a bed to accompany our meat dishes. Like the couscous we know, it absorbs the flavours very well.

Saltbush lamb on israeli couscous

Saltbush lamb on israeli couscous

The lamb was so tender and the subtle lavour of the meat is still prominent. I will not get tired of cooking it. Mister even went back for second helpings. And my dog was very happy with the shank bone!

We had leftovers and I made a nice simple lamb with  baby cous salad and pan fried cubed Carolina potatoes. The simple pleasures in life. :)

I will love to hear new ideas for leftover roast lamb? Please share :)