Slow-baked lamb shoulder with garam masala

Slow-baked lamb shoulder with garam masala.
Slow-baked lamb shoulder with garam masala. Photo: Marina Oliphant

This method of cooking lamb is divine, producing full-flavoured, unctuous meat that takes on the fragrant spices. Serve simply with spiced potatoes or lentils and a little rice.

Ingredients

5 cloves garlic, finely grated

12cm piece ginger, finely grated

2 tbsp salt flakes, plus extra

1 lemon, zest and juice

3 tbsp garam masala

5 tbsp plain yoghurt

About 2.5kg whole lamb shoulder, bone in

80ml extra virgin olive oil

3 brown onions, sliced in rings

To serve

1 bunch coriander, picked

4 limes

500ml sheep's milk yoghurt or other yoghurt, hung in a cheesecloth to drain and thicken

Method

1. Combine the garlic, ginger, salt, lemon juice and zest, garam masala and yoghurt.

2. Make incisions all over both sides of the lamb with a sharp knife and massage the yoghurt mix over it. Cover and marinate in the fridge overnight.

3. The next day, remove the shoulder from the fridge and place in a baking dish with the fat-side up. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour. Preheat the oven to 150C fan-forced or 170C conventional.

4. While the lamb sits, in a large frying pan over medium heat add the oil and fry the onions until golden brown. Season. Set half aside for garnish, scatter the rest over the lamb.

5. Add 450ml of water to the baking tray, cover the whole tray tightly with baking paper and foil and cook for four hours.

6. Check the lamb - it should be meltingly tender. Remove the foil and paper, sprinkle over the remaining onions and cook for a further 30 minutes at 170C to brown and crisp up.

7. Strain off the juices in the tray, skim off any fat and serve with the meat. Garnish with coriander leaves and lime wedges, with the drained yoghurt on the side.