Tender, melt-in-your-mouth lamb, with Julie Le Clerc spicy harissa, served over a bed of creamy, soft polenta. Julie's version of harissa was inspired by her travels throughout Morocco. It has a concentrated flavour, with a unique blend of spices. It is not too chilli-hot, so the whole family can enjoy this delicious feast.

Serves 6

1 trimmed leg of NZ lamb (approx. 1.5 kg)
1 cup Mahoe greek yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup Julie Le Clerc spicy harissa
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
150 ml thevineco Riesling verjuice
2 onions, halved

Polenta:
4 cups water
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup La Grande Ruota quick cook polenta
25g Lewis Road Creamery salted butter
¼ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated

Mix yoghurt, lemon juice and harissa together and coat lamb. Refrigerate overnight in a non-reactive container.

Preheat oven to 200˚C. Place lamb on halved onions into an oval casserole dish with a lid, or a dish that is big enough to accommodate lamb and be covered with tin foil. Season and cover. Pour verjuice around onions under the lamb.  Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, before reducing to 160˚ C and cooking for 2 hours. Remove lid, baste and cook for a further 30 – 60 minutes until lamb is tender.

In the meantime, make the polenta. Bring water to boil in a large pot, add garlic and two teaspoons of salt. Add the polenta in a thin stream while stirring with a whisk to make sure no lumps form.

Stir vigorously for 1 minute, then reduce heat to medium-low. Continue stirring for 5 minutes until the polenta is very thick and comes away from the sides of the pan. Remove pot from the heat and stir in butter and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Remove lamb and rest. Reduce cooking liquor, taste and adjust seasoning (it may need a little honey). Carve and serve with polenta and juices.
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