Slow Cooked Harissa Lamb Recipe From The DOMA Cookbook
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Slow Cooked Harissa Lamb Recipe From The DOMA Cookbook

This colourful new cookbook is a celebration of Balkan cuisine

If you haven’t yet delved into Balkan cuisine, now might be your chance. Spasia Pandora Dinkovski’s new cookbook DOMA: Contemporary Flavours from the Balkan Diaspora offers a fresh take on the culinary heritage of North Macedonia, featuring an array of vibrant meat, vegetarian and recipes

Spasia rose to fame through her supper club and delivery service, going on to open a shop, Mystic Burek – and DOMA is her first cookbook, interspersed with personal stories of food traditions in the region. Here, we share one of the recipes from the book: slow cooked harissa lamb with sweet peaches, urda and herbs.

Recipe: Slow Cooked Harissa Lamb with Sweet Peaches, Urda, and Herbs

We are definitely not afraid of heat in the Balkans, but it’s usually in the form of a raw or pickled hot pepper served on the side of a dish, or a raw white or spring onion – straightforward ways to bring a little heat to the meal. Aromatic spices are more unusual. The fruitiness that the harissa brings to this lamb dish not only complements the sweetness, but brings a whole new dimension to a dish that is familiar to many. The leftovers taste really good squeezed into wrap. 

Serves 6


For the peaches 

  • 200g (7oz) caster (superfine) sugar 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 3 peaches, stoned and halved 

For the lamb 

  • 2.25kg (5lb) leg of lamb 
  • 100g (3½oz) harissa (80g/2¾oz if using Lamiri harissa) 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped, plus 2 heads of garlic, halved, skin on 
  • 1 bunch of thyme 
  • 50ml (1¾fl oz) vegetable oil 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper 
  • 5 carrots, halved lengthways 
  • 3 medium onions, halved 
  • 4 bay leaves 
  • 1 lamb stock cube dissolved in 600ml (1 pint) hot water 
  • 200ml (7fl oz) red wine 

To serve 

  • 100g (3½oz) Urda or ricotta 
  • Oregano, mint or basil 


  1. Three days before serving, prepare the peaches. Add 600ml (1 pint) water to a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes or until the mixture forms a runny syrup. Set aside to cool. 
  2. Transfer the cooled syrup to a jar or airtight container. Submerge the peaches in the syrup, cover and set aside in the fridge for at least 3 days. 
  3. The day before serving, marinate the leg of lamb by rubbing the harissa, chopped garlic, and thyme all over the flesh with the vegetable oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Wrap tightly in cling film (plastic wrap) and leave in the fridge overnight. 
  4. Remove the lamb from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°Cfan/400°F/Gas 6). 
  5. Transfer the lamb to a large, deep, well-oiled baking tray. Arrange the carrots, onions, 2 heads of garlic, and bay leaves around the lamb and pour over the stock and red wine. Cook for 15 minutes or
  6. until just beginning to brown. Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 140°C (120°C fan/275°F/Gas 1). 
  7. Cover the baking tray with foil and cook for 6–7 hours or until the meat falls away from the bone (the exact cooking time will depend on the weight of the leg), basting the meat with its juices every 30 minutes or so. Remove the foil for the final 15 minutes of cooking time. 
  8. Meanwhile, remove the preserved peaches from the fridge at least 1 hour before serving. 
  9. Allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes, then transfer the lamb and vegetables to a serving plate. Garnish with the preserved peaches, urda, and herbs.

Doma: Traditional Flavours and Modern Recipes from the Balkan Diaspora is out now.