Slow-cooking helps this lamb develop a deep, rich flavour.
Slow-cooking helps this lamb develop a deep, rich flavour. Photo: William Meppem

I love this method of cooking lamb. It develops a deep, rich flavour and melts in the mouth; aioli is the perfect complement to the rich meat and helps cut the richness a little. I also like to drizzle it with aged balsamic. I love to make sandwiches with any leftover slow-cooked lamb, paired with coleslaw in crusty bread. This simple method of cooking sprouts in a pan with water is great for any vegetable. Just cook till tender and saute in olive oil as the water evaporates.

Slow-braised shoulder of lamb

2 lamb shoulders on the bone, about 1.25kg each

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground fennel seeds

2 star anise, ground

½ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp freshly ground white pepper

2 tsp sea salt

60ml extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground pepper

lemon wedges

AIOLI

3 egg yolks

2 garlic cloves, crushed

sea salt

2 tbsp lemon juice

375ml half olive oil and half extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground white pepper

1. Put a saucepan large enough to hold a stainless steel bowl on a bench. Place a tea towel around the inside edge of the pan and place the bowl on top of the pan to hold it steady while you whisk.

2. Put the yolks in the bowl and whisk. Add the garlic, sea salt and lemon juice and while whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil. As the emulsion starts to form, add the oil in a steady stream. Don't let the oil sit on the surface as this can cause the aioli to split. Add a grind of pepper and check for salt and lemon juice.

3. The night before cooking the meat, trim the excess fat from the edges of the shoulders. Mix the spices, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil together and rub over the lamb. Put the lamb in a container, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

4. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator two hours before cooking and preheat the oven to 130C.

5. Put the shoulders in a roasting tin large enough to fit both and drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Add 125ml water. Join two sheets of foil together to make a tent over the lamb, then cook for 2½ to three hours.

6. Reduce the heat to 110C and cook for another four hours. When ready, the lamb will be very well done. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes, then shred the meat off the bone.

7. Divide the lamb between eight plates, season with freshly ground pepper, add a dollop of aioli on top, and serve with lemon wedges, brussels sprouts and boiled potatoes.

Serves 8

 

Brussels sprouts

Sauteed brussels sprouts with browned butter

500g brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

4 tbsp unsalted butter

juice of 1 lemon

freshly ground white pepper

1. Place a large non-stick frying pan on a high heat and add the olive oil. When it is hot, add the sprouts, season with sea salt, toss to coat,  then add a cup of water.

2. Reduce until the water has disappeared, allowing the sprouts to steam. Test them for tenderness and, if they are still firm, add a little more water.

3. When the sprouts are cooked, add the butter and continue to toss until the butter turns nut brown.

4. Squeeze in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Add  a good grind of pepper and serve.

Serves 4