Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with tahini yoghurt

Neil Perry
Lamb shoulder with tahini yoghurt, pickled cucumbers, pomegranate and herbs.
Lamb shoulder with tahini yoghurt, pickled cucumbers, pomegranate and herbs. Photo: William Meppem

This marinated, slow-cooked lamb shoulder satisfies the hordes and beautifies the table. This is a really tasty way to cook lamb shoulder so that it falls off the bone. I like to serve it with cous cous or rice. A good dollop of harissa for extra spice doesn't go astray, either.

Ingredients

2 x 1.25kg lamb shoulders

2 roasted red capsicums, peeled, seeded

2 Lebanese cucumbers

4-8 store-bought flatbreads (Lebanese bread, roti or naan), depending on size

seeds from 1/2 pomegranate

1 bunch coriander leaves

½ bunch mint leaves

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp chardonnay vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the marinade

1½ cups Greek yoghurt

4 cloves garlic, chopped

80g ras el hanout (Moroccan spice mix)

40g cumin powder

½ cup olive oil

For the tahini yoghurt

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped oregano

1 tbsp lemon juice

¾ cup Greek yoghurt

¼ cup tahini

For the pickling liquid

2½ cups water

2½ cups white wine vinegar

2½ tbsp castor sugar

2½ tbsp table salt

2 bay leaves

5 cloves garlic

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp coriander seeds

Method

1. Mix marinade ingredients, rub over lamb, then refrigerate at least overnight.

2. Remove lamb from fridge one hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 130C.

3. Place lamb in a roasting dish with 200ml water. Cover with foil and cook for 2½ to 3 hours. Reduce heat to 110C and cook for another 1½ to 2 hours. Add water if needed.

4. For the yoghurt: heat oil in a frying pan on a low heat. Add garlic and oregano and fry until garlic is golden, then add lemon juice to stop cooking process. Place mixture in a bowl with yoghurt and tahini and season to taste. Combine with a little water until it has a dolloping consistency.

5. For the pickling liquid: bring all the ingredients to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Cut capsicum into bite-sized pieces. Cover with hot brine and allow to cool.

7. Cut cucumbers lengthways and slice into bite-sized chunks. Submerge in pickling liquid for at least one hour. Drain well.

8. Warm the flatbread in the oven.

9. Place capsicum, cucumber, pomegranate seeds, coriander, mint leaves and pieces of warm flatbread in a large mixing bowl. Dress with oil and vinegar and season.

10. Serve lamb warm from the oven (it will be tender enough to pull away using just a fork). Serve with tahini yoghurt and a salad.