I love cooking with lamb shoulder because there are so many recipes that do this flavoursome cut, justice. I’ve written before about using quality standard beef and lamb on the barbecue but as the seasons change and Autumn sets in, hearty meat dishes are the order of the day. For a great variety of lamb and beef dishes head to the Simply Beef & Lamb website.
This particular recipe is a wonderfully spicy dish, cooked and served with chick peas. For those who can’t cope with too much spice, natural yoghurt on the side is an absolute must. I was sent the recipe and ingredients to make this dish by the people at Simply Beef and Lamb and the only thing I’d add to the finished dish is a side of cooling tomato salad and some fresh flat breads. If time isn’t on your side, toasted or warmed pittas work very well too. This dish is a perfect dinner party meal, served on a large board for everyone to dig in, or would work just as well plated up for a celebration. Decent British meat is a must for the success of any great meal and if you’re in any doubt about where to find a quality standard butcher near you, head here.
Slow-Cooked Spiced Lamb takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, a little basting during the cooking, and the oven does the rest. Given the slow and low treatment, the three and a half hour wait is well worth the stupendous results. And, like any spiced dish, tastes better a couple of days later when the flavours have fully infused.
The meat I used was a whole free-range shoulder from the wonderful butchers Godfreys, but this would work equally well with a half (just don’t forget to reduce the ingredients).
Slow-Cooked Spiced Lamb
1.8kg/4lb lean whole shoulder of lamb
Salt and pepper – freshly milled
1 x 125g curry paste, I used Madras
2tbsp tomato puree
1 x 400g can, chopped tomatoes
600ml hot lamb or vegetable stock
1 x 400g tin chick peas, drained
Freshly chopped mint and coriander leaves to garnish.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 3, 170°C, 325°F
Put the curry paste, tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and stock in a large, non-stick roasting tin or deep casserole 40 x 30cm or 16 x 12″. Stir well. I pulped mine to a puree (not keen on tomato pieces) before I added the mix to the vegetable stock.
Place the lamb on a chopping board and make several slits over the surface. Season on both sides and transfer to the dish. Spoon over the curry mixture, making sure it gets into the cuts.
Cover with foil, and roast for 3-3.5 hours, turning occasionally, adding the chick peas 20 minutes before the end of cooking time. Don’t replace the foil and watch this marvellous black crust form.
While the lamb is cooking make the tomato salad and keep in the fridge.
To serve, garnish with herbs, add the chick peas and serve with warm flat breads (or pitta if you don’t have time to make your own). The lamb and chick peas are surprisingly filling, although if you want an extra dish, cous cous would work well to soak up the rich spiced sauce.
Tomato Salad Recipe
6 ripe tomatoes, quartered, de-seeded and diced
200g pot of Greek yoghurt
Bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
Squeeze of lemon or lime juice
Add all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and store in the fridge.
As you add the chick peas to the lamb dish start on the flat breads.
Flat Bread Recipe
These are really simple to make and this recipe makes 12
500g self-raising flour, plus a little extra for dusting
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp baking powder
500g natural yoghurt
Griddle or frying pan
Quicker in a food processor but equally mixed well by hand.
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse. If you’re doing this by hand, it’s the same, but in a bowl. Mix until you have a dough, add a sprinkling of flour if the mix remains wet.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, roll into a bowl and using a floured rolling-pin, roll into the size of a small side plate. Stack, using greaseproof paper to avoid them sticking together ahead of cooking.
Put the pan on to get it very hot
Cook each flat bread for a couple of minutes on each side, until puffed up and lightly charred (if using griddle pan).
Serve the flat breads (or pittas) warm or toasted, along with the piping hot spicy lamb, the cooling tomato salad and a dollop of natural yoghurt.