Slow roast shoulder of lamb with chick peas

See how productive I am when I have childcare?? Two posts in one day! C’mon, I’m spoiling you! I put this in the oven at lunchtime and, 3 hours (and some minor titivation) later this is what you get. Slow roasting for the win! It’s to say thank you to my in laws who not only have my kids today but are also sticking around later so I can go to yoga (first bit of exercise in AGES), as my other half is on a work jolly tonight.

Even though it’s ready now (and calling to me), I will eat later with the others, but in the name of the blog, I just cut into it and plated some up to snap. Of course, I had to sample some and boy it is goooooooood. I just love slow cooking fatty, cheaper cuts like shoulder or belly. They are by far my favourite type of dishes to eat too. The fat – and there is a lot that melts into the surrounding sauce as you can see (simply scoop some off if it’s too much for you) – is what gives it that unbelievable flavour and unctuous quality. I’ll serve it later with some leftover potatoes that need to be fried and some seasonal leaves, but it’s good to go as is, with some coriander sprinkled on top. *Update – after eating, I would say that with a whole shoulder of lamb you do need some more veg to go alongside – our potatoes and leaves were fine. I suggest that, or cous cous. 

Is this a valentine’s dish? It wasn’t meant to be – and it won’t be in our house as we’re eating it today and we’ve decided to order a curry tomorrow – but it will certainly get you some brownie points, and for not that much effort either.

To make enough for 4 people: 
1 whole shoulder of lamb
1 bottle of white wine
1 tin of chick peas
1 tin chopped tomatoes
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
2 red onions, sliced chunkily
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika (or normal would be fine)
2 teaspoons of fennel
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds

Coriander, torn up to serve

  • Preheat oven to 150C. 
  • Splash 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large roasting tin and heat on the hob (or a large casserole dish). Season the lamb well all over with salt and pepper. Seal the shoulder on all sides. This should take about 10 minutes. 
  • Put the meat to one side. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan. Let the wine come to the boil for a few minutes then pour into a jug and set aside. 
  • Whilst the wine is bubbling, pound the fennel and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar, and add the paprika to this mix. 
  • With the tin still on the hob, over a medium heat now, add a splash more oil and fry off the sliced red onions, whole cloves of garlic, along with the spice mix for about 10 minutes. 
  • Pour the wine back in and place the meat on top. Cover loosely with foil and cook for 2 hours. 
  • Take the lamb out and baste. Add the chopped tomatoes and drained chick peas and give a little stir. Uncover and cook for a further hour. 
  • Serve with roughly torn coriander. Cous cous would be good too. 
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