Another fantastic recipe from our in-house cook Elizabeth Hewson (we wish).
This Middle Eastern inspired dish is packed full of flavour and makes an impressive dinner party meal. The dish is completed with a bejeweling of pomegranate seeds that not only look beautiful but also add a wonderful texture against the slow cooked lamb.
Lamb shoulder is an economical cut of meat. Due to the fat content, I find it to be much more flavoursome than a leg of lamb and of course it’s about half the price making it a perfect choice for a dinner party amongst home leavers.
If you are well prepared this lamb dish really benefits with some marinating time. Overnight is ideal however if you are in a rush, two hours is totally fine. And look if you are disorganized it’s ok not to marinate. I’ve done this before and it works just fine.
Now on to the pomegranate molasses, I love it. It has to be one of my favourite exotic food discoveries. It’s brilliant to keep in your pantry to jazz up a piece of lamb or chicken. The molasses is actually concentrated pomegranate juice. Its made by boiling down the juice to form a thick, dark red syrup. Due to this it has a very sharp, sour taste and is best balanced with an earthy spice such as cumin.
It also makes one hell of a summer cocktail. Simply add a tablespoon to freshly squeeze orange juice and vodka and you’ve got yourself something rather special.
I serve this with greek yoghurt, toasted almonds and cous cous. It’s also lovely alongside some roasted vegetables or a fresh garden salad.
PS. Remember the cook always gets the shank. I’d dig in before any of your other guests notice.
1 lamb shoulder with shank
4 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, ground
½ tablespoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ cup flaked almonds
2 cups cous cous
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Coriander leaves to garnish
1 cup Greek, thick natural yoghurt
Use a sharp knife to cut the fat layer of the lamb at 1 cm intervals, stopping your knife at the meat. In a small bowl combine the oil, pomegranate molasses, garlic, cumin, coriander seeds, chilli flakes and sea salt. Pour the marinade over the lamb and massage all over the lamb to ensure shoulder is well coated. Leave to marinate over night or for at least two hours in the fridge.
Remove from fridge half an hour before you want to cook it.
Cut lemons in half and place at the bottom of a casserole or deep roasting dish. Place the lamb on top, fat side facing up. Cover dish with baking paper to stop juices from escaping and then put the lid on or wrap tightly with foil. Sealing the dish, traps the steam and results in incredibly tender meat. Place in the oven and cook for four hours at 150 degrees celcius.
Dry toast your almonds in pan over low heat until golden. Set aside. Remove pomegranate seeds and set aside. Click here to see how to remove seeds. Prepare cous cous according to packet instructions and serve into a large bowl. Sprinkle over half the almonds, reserving the rest for the lamb.
When ready, remove lamb from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve it in its dish or transfer to a big serving dish, sprinkle with remaining almonds, pomegranate seeds and top with coriander leaves. Serve alongside cous cous and yoghurt.
Elizabeth Hewson is the author of Moving Out, Eating in.
Moving Out, Eating In is available through Booktopia online.
You can read more about our friend Lizzie here.