Portrait of a recipe

To celebrate Pamela Hart’s fabulous war-time setting in North Africa, we settled upon this absolutely delicious roast lamb in pomegranate molasses with flatbread.

Lamb is, of course, typical Mediterranean fare in both Europe and Africa, which made it the perfect meal over which to discuss The Desert Nurse.

This dish was surprisingly simple and really packed some bang for buck. It’s great for crowds and family weekends.

Lamb, if we are to believe the Australia Day promotions, is as Aussie as it gets and, given this is a love shared with the Mediterraneans, we imagine it to be the perfect ANZAC day fare.

  • 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Juice of one lemon

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 shoulder of lamb, weighin about 1.6kg, lightly scored

  • Seeds of two pomegranates

  • 1 small red onion, finely diced

  • Watercress/lettuce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil/lemon juice

  • Flatbreads to serve


Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

In a small bowl, mix the molasses with the cinnamon, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic.

Scatter the onion over a casserole dish or a deep roasting tin.

Place the lamb on top of the onions.

Pour the glaze over the lamb.

Rinse the bowl out with about 200ml water, then pour it around – not over – the lamb.

Cover the dish with a lid or the tin with a large piece of foil.

Roast the lamb, undisturbed, for 3 hrs, then remove the lid or foil and continue to roast for 30 mins to give the lamb colour.

When the lamb has had its time, pour off the juices, remove as much fat as possible, then pour the juices back over the lamb.

Just before serving, gently toss all the salad ingredients together. Serve the lamb with its sauce, the salad and some warmed flatbreads.

Image credit: Adrien Seignoux