Thursday, 6 September 2012

The simply perfect slow roast lamb recipe

Everybody needs a recipe or two that they can pull out at the last minute that they know will be a success. That, no matter what the occasion, will turn out well and get them a load of compliments. One of my never fail recipes is a slow roasted lamb shoulder from one of my Moro cookbooks. It always ends up tender (falls apart so easily), super moist, and has a super crunchy top. Never fail. Perfect and delicious. I've even made it when I've been on holidays and it was still lovely. It also happens to be my dad's favourite recipe of mine, so it was also what I cooked on Sunday for fathers day when the fam came over for dinner. The only thing that went wrong is that almost everyone went back for seconds so I only had enough left overs for one lunch. How terrible is that!!!

Now, don't be deceived by the fact that this is slow roasted...this recipe is easy. I promise!

Ingredients (serves 4 - 5 people, but not many left overs)
1 shoulder of lamb with the bone in (about 2kg's). DON'T trim the lovely fat off, it's what helps to keep it from going dry.
3 tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
5 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
18 garlic cloves, skin on
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1/2 bottle Spanish white wine
3 tbsp brandy (optional. I didn't have any at home, so I left it out)
a big bunch of potatoes
a few beetroots (again, optional but delicious)
1 nice big throw away metal tray (trust me, it will save you a HEAP of cleaning up)

Chop up the 1 tbsp of thyme and 1 tbsp of rosemary.
Rub the shoulder of lamb with the 3 tsp sea salt, half of the chopped thyme and half of the chopped rosemary (if you use a bit more of any of the three, it's OK). Put it aside and let it stand for between 20mins and around an hour. If it's more than an hour, it's OK, but make sure it's not less than 20mins. While you're waiting, heat the oven up to 175 degrees celsius.
Roughly chop up the onion. Put the 5 tbsp oil, chopped onion, 18 cloves of garlic (skin on) and a good pinch of salt in a pan or tray over a medium heat. I use the same tray I plan on baking the roast in, saves a bit more washing up. Lightly fry the onion for about 10 minutes, or until they soften and starts to get a little colour. Add in the 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika and 1/2 bottle of wine (making sure you have a glass of Spanish wine in your hand...after all, you need to make sure the wine isn't off!) and the 3 tbsp brandy if you're using it and mix it together.

Put the lamb shoulder on top into the baking tray, on top of the onion mixture and skin side up. Stick it in the oven, and you're almost done with anything that could even be considered difficult.
Roast it for 2 1/2hrs, making sure you baste it every half an hour. This is really important! Basting helps make sure it doesn't dry out, and also helps give you the nice crunchy top which everyone will fight over. When you're basting, make sure none of the onion or garlic pieces are left on top or they'll burn.
While the lamb is baking, prepare your beetroot and potatoes however you want them. I don't peel my potatoes for this dish, but I did halve them to help them cook quicker. I also peeled and halved the beetroots.
Once the meat has cooked for 2 1/2 hours, put the potatoes and beetroot into the tray, sprinkle on a good pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil if you want, and crank the oven up to 220 degrees celsius. If the pan's dry, add a splash of water. Bake for around 40mins, or until the potatoes are cooked. Once the potatoes are ready, take the meat out and leave it to rest for 10mins.
Then you're done. All that's left to do is serve, enjoy and let the compliments roll in. Don't forget to add a nice crunchy salad on the side, and a good bottle of wine. Chocolate for desert is also advised.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there. This week's Food on Friday is all about lamb! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.