This recipe has evolved over the years and to this day is one of my favourite lamb preparations. The combination of the rich lamb braise and hot flatbread is deeply satisfying at this time of the year. Do try to work a day ahead and marinate the lamb overnight before cooking. It makes a big difference to the finished dish.
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp yellow bean paste
2 tbsp shao hsing wine
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp Korean chilli flakes
½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
½ tsp sugar
1 x 1.5kg lamb shoulder, on the bone (you can also use lamb shanks or sliced neck chops)
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tbsp chilli oil
½ tsp toasted and ground Sichuan pepper
small handful of coriander, to serve
2 spring onions, shredded, to serve
Sichuan sauce, to serve (recipe here)
Coriander and mint paste, to serve (recipe here)
Sesame flatbread, to serve (recipe here)
1. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, bean paste, shao hsing, cumin, chilli, five-spice and sugar. Take a heavy, deep roasting tray large enough to fit the lamb shoulder. Rub the marinade all over the meat, cover the tray with cling film and leave to marinate for a few hours or, better still, overnight in the fridge.
2. Preheat the oven to 150C. Remove the cling film from the lamb and add 250ml water to the roasting tray. Cover the tray tightly with aluminium foil, then place in oven and roast for two hours. Turn the oven down to 110C and cook for a further four hours, checking every so often and adding a little more water if the tray becomes dry.
3. For the last hour remove the foil and drizzle the two tablespoons of grapeseed oil over the lamb and continue to cook for the last hour of roasting to crisp up the skin.
4. While the lamb is roasting, make the Sichuan sauce and the coriander and mint paste. Transfer the lamb to a deep dish, and pour the Sichuan sauce over the top. Finish the dish with the chilli oil and ground Sichuan pepper. Serve with flatbread and coriander and mint paste.
Find more of Andrew McConnell's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.