Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with ras el hanout

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Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with ras el hanout

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Try this slow-roasted lamb shoulder delicious melt in your mouth meal

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 x 2 kg lamb shoulder, on the bone
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • ½ bunch fresh thyme
  • 250 ml white wine
  • 150 ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic bulb, peeled and quartered
  • 6 good quality anchovy fillets, in oil
  • 3 lemons, cut in half
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

To serve

  • ½ cup natural almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup mint leaves, torn
  • ½ pomegranate, seeds removed

Harissa dressing

  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tsp harissa
  • Sea salt flakes and black pepper, to season

Method
For the harissa dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and allow to stand at room temperature for at least half an hour to let the flavours really develop. Give a light mix again just before serving.

Preheat oven to 140°C. Using a small sharp knife, cut three or four slits diagonally across the lamb. Combine the olive oil, salt and ras el hanout in a bowl. Rub this mixture into the lamb, massaging well and down into the slits, to cover entirely. Cover and place in fridge to marinate overnight.

Take the lamb out of the fridge at least one hour before you start cooking so that it is as close to room temperature as possible. Place a large frying pan (large enough to hold the lamb shoulder) on a medium-high heat. Brown the meat on all sides; it will take about 10 minutes to get a good colour all over, then transfer to a large plate. Place the sliced onions and thyme on the base of a large roasting dish and place the lamb on top.

Tip off any fat from the base of your frying pan and place the pan on a low heat. Pour in the wine and let it bubble and reduce for two minutes. Pour the warm wine over the lamb.
Pour the vinegar around the lamb and add the garlic, anchovies and lemons. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper, cover tightly with foil and bake on the middle shelf for five hours. Check every so often to ensure the onions are not burning and to baste the lamb.

Remove the foil after five hours and cook, uncovered, for the last 40 minutes. When ready, the meat should be tender and falling off the bone. Gently shred the meat into large pieces and use the roasting juices to moisten the meat. You could serve the lamb as it is now without the dressing and it would be lip-smackingly lovely, or if you want to turn it into something very special, place on a platter and scatter with almonds, herbs and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with the harissa dressing and dot with marinated goat’s cheese or labne.

Recipe and images from the Relish Mama cookbook

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