28 Oct 2019 | George Calombaris
As aussies, we have a pretty special connection to lamb dishes, it features at most gatherings and can elevate any event. This impressive lamb shoulder recipe from Just George by George Calombaris will be the highlight of your next 'shindig', and it is deceptively simple to achieve.
Lamb has become more expensive recently because of the drought, and we could have pulled it and gone to pork, but we made a decision not to in order to support the farmers. They still need income. I love shoulder because there are so many different muscles in there that break down beautifully. Also, it’s probably the most worked muscle on the beast, so there’s better flavour and better texture. Leg is delicious too, but the shoulder for me slow cooks so well. And remember: bone in, always.
½ onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dried oregano
zest and juice of 1 lemon
100 ml (3½ fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
1.8 kg (4 lb) lamb shoulder, bone in 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) white wine
200 g (7 oz) dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into chunks handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
Combine the onion, garlic, oregano, lemon zest and juice and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Massage the mixture all over the lamb shoulder and season well. Cover, refrigerate and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat a conventional oven to 220°C (430°F), or a fan-forced oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the shoulder in a roasting tin, skin side up, then roast in the oven for 10 minutes to caramelise. After 10 minutes, add the wine to the tin, cover with baking paper, then aluminium foil to seal the edges, and drop the temperature to 170°C (340°F) for a conventional oven, or 150°C (300°F) for a fan-forced oven.
After 2 hours of cooking, strain the soaking chickpeas and add them to the tin around the lamb, covering again with baking paper and foil, adding a little water if necessary, to almost cover the chickpeas. The chickpeas will begin to cook along with the lamb and absorb the cooking juices. Continue cooking the lamb for a further 2 hours until tender. For the final 15 minutes of cooking, increase the oven temperature to 220°C (430°F) for a conventional oven and 200°C (400°F) for a fan-forced oven. Remove the foil, add the tomatoes and mint to the pan, mixing slightly with the chickpeas, and cook uncovered.
Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes, skim some fat from the pan then serve.
Recipe extracted from Just George by George Calombaris
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