This recipe is exactly the kind of cooking that that got me hooked in the kitchen and where Slow The Cook Down was born. A few simple and fresh ingredients cooked slowly with love and consumed with wine. Slow cooking keeps meat succulent and allows the strong flavours to develop.
Lamb is a strong and heavy flavoured meat and the shoulder is probably my favourite cut. The sweetness of the apricots cut through the lamb beautifully and by turning up the heat towards the end of cooking gives you a super crunchy crust.
Give this a go for some stress free Sunday cooking and serve with your favourite sides.
Serves 4-6 (with left overs!)
- 1 – 1.3kg lamb shoulder on the bone
- 1 garlic bulb
- 500g halved apricots
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp fresh sage (finely chopped)
- 50g raisins
Take 6 cloves of garlic and chop in half, do the same with 50g of the apricots. Make small, but fairly deep incisions all over the lamb and pop the apricots and garlic cloves in. You want to get them right into the meat.
Mix together the oil, cumin seeds, salt, sage and a good pinch of cracked black pepper.
Lay the lamb on a large piece of cling film and pour the oil mixture of the meat. Get your hands dirty and massage the mixture all over the lamb. Wrap securely in cling film and pop in the fridge for 2 hours to let the flavours develop.
Get a glass of wine as a reward.
Pre-heat the oven to 160º.
Line a baking tray with tin foil and put in the remaining apricots, garlic cloves and the raisins. Put as many in the middle of the tray as you can, as those on the outside will burn. Lay the lamb on top of the apricots and raisins and put in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Get some more wine – the hard work is done!
After 2 1/2 hours turn the oven up to 220º. After 1 hour take the lamb out. Transfer the lamb to a plate, cover and leave to rest.
Spoon the apricots (not the burnt ones!) and raisins that the lamb was roasting on into a blender, along with the meat juices. Blitz until smooth then slowly reheat in a pan on a low heat.
Carve the meat and serve with a spoonful of the apricot puree and your other favourite sides.