Recipe: Lamb ouzi and an iftar catering service

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When it comes to cooking for a big group, it's often worth taking tips from the professionals. With that in mind, below you'll find a recipe for lamb ouzi that's capable of serving a crowd, courtesy of catering company Epicure.

It's also worth noting that Epicure are offering a special iftar service during Ramadan, allowing people to entertain large numbers of friends and family without the hassle of cooking. You can customise their iftar menu according to your needs: hot and cold mezze come as standard, as do drinks, soup, bread and dessert and then you chose from a selection of main courses, including fish with harra sauce, freeke with lamb and of lamb shank with rice.

For more information of Epicure Catering call 04 347 3808 or email

Lamb ouzi

Serves: 15+ people

Preparation time: 1 hour (plus 24 hours marinading time)


For the marinade: 1 whole lamb (or 12/14kg total) 2kg plain yoghurt 1 bulb garlic, peeled and sliced 1 onion, peeled and sliced 3 tsp ground nutmeg 2 tsp ground white pepper

For the rice: 1 ½  cups pistachio nuts 1 ½  cups pine nuts 1 ½  cups almonds 2 onions, peeled and chopped 2 kg minced beef 12 cups long grain rice 24 cups water 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground allspice 1 tsp ground nutmeg 1 tsp ground black pepper 1 tsp ground white pepper 1 cup of vegetable oil salt


Mix the yoghurt, garlic, onion, nutmeg and pepper together. Season with salt and rub all over the lamb. Leave to marinade for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 170C. Cover the lamb with foil and cook for 3 hours.

Heat some vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the three different types of nuts and fry until golden brown and roasted. Use a slotted spoon to remove the nuts from the pan and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat and pour in some more oil. Add the onions to the pan and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Tip the minced beef into the pan and fry until cooked through. Pour in the rice, water, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and black and white pepper. Stir well, season with salt and increase the heat.

Once the mixture comes to the boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 20-30 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in half the roasted nuts.

Carefully tip the rice out onto a large platter and place the roasted lamb on top. Sprinkle over the remaining nuts. Carve the lamb and serve the rice on the side.