15 April 2018

Eight hour slow roasted lamb with lemon, couscous and tzatziki

Slow cooked lamb is one of life's greatest joys and the addition of lemon to this recipe reduces some of the richness and makes this a perfect spring or summer time meal.

It might sound like a lot of work, but once you taste this recipe, you will feel very happy about your decision to make it! The lamb just falls off the bone in tender pieces, and the vegetables cooked in the juices are delicious. We couldn't stop eating this until nothing was left!
  • 2kg lamb shoulder (enough for four people)
  • 10 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 15 - 20 cherry tomatoes - I chose a mixed variety
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 red onion
  • 6 shallots 
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 zucchinis
  • Couscous
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 400g Greek yogurt 
  • 1 cucumber
  • Fresh mint (optional)

On the night before, take your lamb and place it into a large roasting pan. Rub the lamb with olive oil, lemon, salt, cinnamon and oregano.

Optional - the night before I also decanted my Greek yogurt into a strainer to remove some of the liquid and left this to strain overnight.

On the next day, preheat the oven to 160°C.

Take your lamb from the fridge about 30 minutes before you'd like to begin roasting, and rub with more olive oil and salt. Slice the red onion and shallots into rings and place under the lamb, along with most of the garlic and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle the remaining cherry tomatoes and garlic around the lamb. Cut the lemons into quarters and squeeze over the lamb, then place around the lamb. Place the bay leaf in the pan and then pour about 1cm of water into the pan.

Cover the top of the pan in baking paper and seal the edges with aluminum foil. Place in the oven for 4 hours at 160°C and then for a further 4 hours at 150°C.

Every two hours or so I checked to make sure there was still water, and to baste the lamb with the juices. In the last hour I added the zucchini and a few extra cherry tomatoes. If your lamb isn't golden on top, you may like to turn the oven up to 180°C and bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered.

For the tzatziki, thinly slice and roughly dice half a cucumber. If needed, remove some of the water from the cucumber using a strainer. Add this to a bowl with the Greek yogurt, 1 or 2 crushed cloves of fresh garlic, salt, mint, and a little olive oil and combine.

For the couscous, I like to bake mine in the oven so that it becomes light, fluffy and delicious. In an oven friendly pot, pour as much couscous as you'd like, then rinse it under some water and pour out most of the water, leaving a tablespoon or two. Add some salt and mix through the couscous. Add a couple of tablespoons of salted butter and place the lid on the pot. Place in the oven at 180°C for around 15 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Sprinkle with roasted almonds to serve if you like.

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