Slow-cooked lamb is a classic winter meal, but the Mediterranean feel of this Matthew Evans dish means it also works well on warm Sunday afternoons. By wrapping the lamb in paper and then foil, the meat will steam in its own juices for a more tender result.
- 1.7 kg lamb shoulder
- extra virgin olive oil, to cook
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced
- 10–12 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 100 g (scant ⅓ cup) green olives
- roasted chat potatoes, roasted carrot paste and green salad, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Trim excess fat from lamb and rub generously with oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
Tear off a piece of baking paper large enough to wrap the lamb. Place in a roasting pan, line it with half the lemon slices and scatter over half the garlic cloves and olives. Top with lamb, skin-side up, cover with remaining lemon slices and dot with remaining garlic and olives. Wrap the lamb tightly in the paper, season with salt, then cover tightly with foil or a lid.
Bake for about 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 140°C and bake for a further 2½ hours or until the meat is falling off the bone.
Serve lamb warm with roasted garlic, olives and lemon slices, and roasted potatoes and carrot paste, and a green salad.
Roasted carrot paste
Preheat oven to 220°C. Toss 4 peeled, roughly chopped carrots with a little olive oil, a few fennel seeds and season with salt and pepper. Place on an oven tray and roast, turning occasionally, for 40 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a bowl and mash to a coarse paste, adding a little extra virgin olive oil to bring out the flavours. Serves 4 as a side dish.
Photography by Alan Benson.
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2.