This Bank Holiday weekend was different though because my dear friends, Rachel and Andy, came to stay with their A-mazing dog, Nessa. Nessa is a sharpei and as we discovered in the park on Sunday, an American and not Chinese sharpei at that!
This is Nessa:
I had such a lovely weekend, long walks with Nessa and curled up in the village pub chatting with a pint.
I decided to cook on the Saturday night and wanted something we could eat up in the garden if the weather were nice or around the dining table if it rained which it spent the entire weekend doing in fits and starts.
This recipe is such a nice thing to cook for a group of people, or just the 3 of us! The lamb is fall off the bone tender and the aubergine jam and garlic yoghurt make a great pairing. Someone described this as like a posh kebab when I cooked it recently with flatbreads! I have mentioned the Pomegranate molasses previously and how I made my own and this time round, I bought some from Sainsbury’s just to compare it and I think I prefer my own homemade. It seemed to have a more complex flavour and was thicker so the marinade stuck to the lamb and made it sticky which is what I was looking for! I would therefore recommend making your own.
This recipe also calls for harissa paste and I had to make my own the first time as no shops in Liverpool or Abingdon seemed to stock it, finally Mum gave me a jar for my birthday (We spoil each other in our family!) and since then the recipe for it and mentions of it have been in every magazine and book and newspaper but it’s very easy to make if you can’t find any.
Slow Roasted Lamb with Pomegranate Molasses
- 2kg shoulder of lamb on the bone
- 9 cloves garlic, roughly chopped or crushed with your garlic crusher
- 6½ tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 6½ tbsp runny honey
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp harissa paste
- juice from 4 lemons
- leaves from a small bunch of mint, torn
- Pierce the lamb all over, making deep slits in it with a very sharp knife. Crush the nine cloves of garlic to a paste with some seasoning, then add all the other ingredients for the lamb and pound some more. Put the meat in a huge piece of foil set in a roasting-tin (you may need to do some origami with the tin foil) and pull up the sides so that none of the marinade will run out. Pour on the marinade, turning over the lamb so that it goes on both sides. Put in the fridge and leave to marinate for about 12 hours or overnight if possible.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C. Pull the foil over the lamb and seal to form a tent. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 160 C. Cook for three to four hours, basting with the juices every so often. The lamb is cooked when you can pull the meat apart with a fork. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
- a large aubergine, cubed (quite small cubes)
- 2 tomatoes, cubed roughly
- a tsp of ground cumin
- a tsp of ground cinnamon
- 50ml sherry vinegar
- 1 crushed clove of garlic
- 1 chopped red chilli
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 50g muscavado sugar
- olive oil
- Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add olive oil. Add the aubergine in batches and fry until soft and brown. You may have to add some more oil as the aubergines will absorb loads of oil!
- Add the cubed tomatoes and cook until the skins soften. When soft, add the spices, the garlic and chilli and the vinegar and the molasses and stir. Add the sugar.
- Simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the mix has taken on a jam consistency
Serve with warm flatbreads, heaps of pomegranate seeds and mint leaves and some garlicky yoghurt, made by crushing some garlic and squeezing some lemon juice into natural plain yoghurt.