Magic lamb with biblical berries
- Prep time
- 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Cooking time
- Over 2 hours
- 1 large leg of lamb
- handful of lion-bush berries OR a combination of green peppercorns and pomegranate seeds
- olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
- 1 large handful of fresh rosemary
- 6-12 anchovies in oil, drained
Dig a rectangular hole about two feet deep. Then, pile up enough hardwood nearby to make a large bonfire and set it alight. Leave it to burn down to white coals.
Meanwhile give the leg of lamb a good rub with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, cut a number of small holes all over the meat, and place in the holes the lion-bush berries or green peppercorns and pomegranate seeds, the slivers of garlic, rosemary leaves and the anchovies. (Anchovies are a wonderful, subtle seasoning for lamb; it gives a subtle, salty tang to the meat.)
Wrap the lamb in seven layers of aluminium foil, some one way and others the other way; the meat must be completely sealed and dust-proof.
Fill the bottom of the pit with about four centimetres of hot coals from the bonfire; lay the lamb gently on top. Pile the remainder of the coals over the sides and top of the foil-covered lamb. Then bury the lamb with dry sand to ground level. Leave the lamb for about three hours to cook. Something special happens with this way of cooking; maybe it's the all-around heat, but I think that it has something to do with the weight of the sand on top, cooking the meat under pressure.
Serve with a selection of roasted vegetables, such as butternut and gem squash, sweet potatoes, mixed peppers, whole heads of garlic, and half onions, dressed with olive oil rosemary and salt and pepper.