|Hello, my name is Baabaara. Image via here|
I thought it was best to get the gratuitous and possibly bad taste lamb photo out of the way early on. Please, don’t be offended – I love lambs as much as the next person, especially if that person is cooking this spicy, slow cooked lamb shoulder in my oven, then serving it up to me with crispy roasted potatoes and steamed greens.
Slow cooked shoulder of lamb
This is my version of a Hugh F-W recipe. It is a firm favourite in our house for a number of reasons, not least because it is very low-maintenance and extremely delicious. Mature lamb (ie, the sort that lies about being younger than it is) is especially good cooked this way.
1 lamb shoulder, bone in (about 2kg)
2tsp cumin seeds
2tsp coriander seeds
2tsp fennel seeds
2tsp black peppercorns
3tsp sweet smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 dried chilli, chopped (or 1-2tsp chilli flakes)
3tsp sea salt
2Tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 220C. Toast the cumin, coriander, peppercorns in a dry pan until fragrant. Tip into a mortar and add the garlic, rosemary, smoked paprika, dried chilli and salt. Crush/grind for a bit, then add the olive oil. If you don’t have a mortar you can do this in a mini food processor or just use a bowl, a wooden spoon and lots of elbow grease.
Score the skin of the lamb and put it into a large, lidded, ovenproof dish (like a Le Creuset or similar). Rub half the spice paste over the meat, then put in the oven for 30 minutes. Take it out and rub the remainder of the spice paste on to the meat (I use the back of a spoon). Tip a small glass of water into the pot (not over the meat), put the lid on and return to the oven, turning the heat down to 120C. Let cook for at least six hours, until the meat is falling off the bone.
If you want to cook this in advance, remove the meat from the pot when it is done and discard the bones. Pour the liquid into a container and let cool, then refrigerate both the meat and liquid. To reheat, put the meat back into the (now clean!) pot. Scrape the layer of fat from the now jelly-like liquid and throw it away quickly before anyone sees. Put the jellied liquid in with the meat and reheat at 150C until piping hot.