Slow-braised lamb shoulder with preserved lemon and spices
- October 2021
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 15 min, Oven time 4 hours plus resting
Lamb shoulder is slow-braised with a preserved lemon spice paste, then cooked low and slow for meat so tender it falls from the bone.
You might also like our slow-cooked shoulder of lamb with chill jam and rosemary.
- 27.3g (10.2g saturated)
- 5.9g (4g sugars)
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 large preserved lemon, peel only, roughly chopped
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 small bunch coriander, leaves and stems roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large lamb shoulder (1.5-1.8kg)
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- Lemon wedges to serve (optional)
For the tahini sauce
- 200g greek yogurt or dairy-free alternative
- 2 tbsp tahini paste (we used Belazu)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tsp lemon juice
You’ll also need
- Spice grinder/pestle and mortar
- Food processor
- Large casserole with a lid
- Heat the oven to its highest setting. Gently heat the cumin seeds in a small dry frying pan for 3-4 minutes until they start to pop and brown. Cool a little, then grind to a powder in a spice grinder/pestle and mortar.
- Put the cumin in a food processor with the preserved lemon, onion, garlic, cinnamon, coriander, 1 tbsp of the oil and some salt and pepper, then whizz to form a thick paste.
- Make slashes in the lamb skin about 1cm deep. Rub the spice mix over and into the slashes, then put the meat in the casserole. Add the pomegranate molasses, remaining 1 tbsp oil and 150ml water. Put a sheet of baking paper on top of the lamb, then a sheet of foil. Add the lid to cover as tightly as you can.
- Transfer the dish to the oven and turn the heat down to 130ºC fan/gas 2. Cook for 3½ hours. Remove the lid, foil and baking paper and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven – the meat should be falling from the bone (see Know How). Cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat together all the ingredients for the tahini sauce and season to taste.
- Serve the lamb with the tahini sauce, extra coriander and, if you like, lemon wedges on the side.
Make the lamb up to 2 days ahead. Shred while warm and cover with any cooking juices. Reheat in a covered dish in a 150ºC fan/ gas 3½ oven for 20 minutes until warmed through.
Low, slow cooking breaks down the tough connective tissue in cuts like shoulder and shanks. If the meat isn’t falling-off-the-bone tender after the cooking time, cook for another 20-30 minutes until it’s fork-able.
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