Monday, 13 February 2017

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Garlic, Artichoke Hearts and Mint

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I first tasted lamb and artichoke hearts together after doing some research into ancient Egyptian food. And they work so well together. It's something about the sweet lamb and the tender, earthy artichoke hearts. I did my degree in history at university, and I still love it now - I'm obsessed with flavours our ancestors used to enjoy and I think we should bring some of them back into the modern mainstream. 

I first cooked lamb with artichoke hearts after reading a book given to me by a friend. It was Food Fit for Pharaohs, by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson. There's a dish in there, a Lamb and Artichoke Tagin, where they're both combined with turmeric in a kind of slow cooked stew. I even took inspiration from this for one of the dishes in my AIP ebook SPICE - a hash with artichokes, red onions and minced lamb. Gorgeous. 

But anyway, back to the roast. 



The lamb shoulder joint is slow roasted with red onions and garlic for a few hours until tender, and the artichoke hearts are plonked in and around the joint in the last hour or two of cooking, to brown them up. So good. And hardly any work too, which is another bonus. 


Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Garlic, Artichoke Hearts and Mint
Serves 4
Ingredients
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into thick rings
1.5kg (or thereabouts) lamb shoulder joint, bone in
2 cloves garlic, peeled and slices
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
400g tin artichoke hearts
2 tbsp freshly chopped mint leaves

Method
Preheat your oven to high - around 220ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7. 

Take out a shallow roasting dish and scatter the onion along the bottom, where your lamb joint is going to sit. Place the lamb shoulder joint on top of the onion slices and make tiny slits in the meat, pushing in the garlic slices as you go. Try and get the garlic slices distributed all over the joint evenly. Trickle over the olive oil and rub it in and around the surface of the meat. Season with a pinch of salt and slide into the oven. Turn the oven down to 170ºC/325ºF/gas mark 3 and leave to roast gently (the higher temperature at first just gives it a boost) for 1 and a half hours. 

After the first hour and a half is up, drain the tin of artichoke hearts and dab them dry with a clean kitchen towel or kitchen paper. Arrange the artichoke hearts in the dish, baste them with some of the cooking juices in the pan, and then slide back into the oven. Continue to cook for another one and a half to two hours with the lamb, so that they turn slightly golden around the edges. 

Once the total cooking time is up, and the lamb is cooked through and tender, take the roasting dish out of the oven and sprinkle it, while hot, with the freshly chopped mint. Serve with your favourite vegetables. 

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Have you seen my ebook SPICE? It was written to help people find new and exciting ways to incorporate herbs and spices in their diets. All recipes are strict AIP compliant. Go have a look! 



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