Shredded Slow Cooked Lamb
WITH FRESH MINT, POMEGRANTE AND MINT RAITA
(From Our Tamarama Kitchen by Joanna Cooper & Vanessa Rowe)
This dish takes between 5-12 hours to cook. It was inspired by one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes. With its wonderful flavours and colours, it is the perfect dish for a celebration. I often make this when entertaining a big crowd because it is just so easy and gives me time to spend with my guests. It also has that wow factor upon presentation and tastes delicious.
Serve it with crusty sourdough bread and a big salad.
Pre heat oven to 170C
1 Lamb Shoulder (approximately 2kg) or 2 smaller lamb shoulders
2 Red Onions quartered but not peeled
6 Cloves Garlic, not peeled
2 Carrots, halved
2 Stick Celery, sliced in half and in half again
2 Cups of Boiling Water
2 Bunches Mint Leaves
Sumac, enough to season the outside of the lamb
Sea Salt to season
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Black Pepper to season
Pomegranate Molasses* enough to coat the top of the lamb
500ml Greek Yoghurt
1-2 Cloves Crushed Garlic
Zest & Juice 1-2 Fresh Limes
Sea Salt & Black Pepper to Taste
1 Bunch Mint Leaves, finely chopped
Rub the lamb with sumac and season with salt and pepper. In a roasting pan, add a touch of olive oil and place on top of the stove, with the elements on high. Brown the mean on both sides and remove. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and allow their flavours to release and brown slightly. Place the meat on top of the vegetables. Add the boiling water and bring to the boil. Add a thick layer of pomegranate molasses on top of the lamb and spread it all over.
Take the roasting pan off the heat and carefully, using aluminium foil, tent the lamb (see Tip). Put the lamb in to the oven for at least 5 hours at 170C. Or turn down to 140C if you want to slow cook it for 8-12 plus hours. If I am making this for lunch, I put it in the oven before I go to bed so that it will be ready by lunchtime the next day. Just ensure you turn the temperature right down if you’re cooking overnight.
An hour before your guests arrive, take the lamb out of the oven and shred the meat into a beautiful big bowl. You can do this by using 2 forks. Pour some of the lamb juices of the meat. Sprinkle with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Cover with foil. Prior to serving, cut the pomegranates in half and squeeze two of the halves all over the lamb. Get a wooden spoon and hit the back of the remaining pomegranates over the lamb, to release the seeds. Scatter over the fresh mint leaves. This dish is best served warm.
To make the mint raita: put the yoghurt into a medium-sized bowl. Add the garlic, zest and juice of the limes, salt and pepper. Add the finely chopped mint leaves. Mix well. Taste and season to your liking adding more salt, pepper or lime juice as required.
To ‘tent’ the lamb, you will need 4 large sheets of aluminium foil. Put 2 long pieces vertically down on the bench, and place 2 long pieces over this, horizontally. Then place the baking dish in the middle. Pull up the vertical pieces on either side of the dish, squeeze them together and fold down, to create an air pocket. Do the same for the horizontal pieces, which will meet with the vertical pieces. Scrunch and fold the foil pieces together to create a tent. It is important to make sure there is room between the tent and the lamb for air circulation.