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Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with mint yoghurt

    • Method
    • Notes
    1. Step 1

      To make the mint yoghurt: In a food processor, blend the yoghurt, mint, spring onions, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate.

    2. Step 2

      To cook the lamb: Position the rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 150C (130C fan-forced). In a small bowl, mix the cumin, paprika, pepper, cayenne and cinnamon with 1 tablespoon fine sea salt to blend. Rub the lamb with 2 tablespoons of the oil and the spice mixture. Place the lamb in a 25cm x 25cm x 6cm baking dish or roasting pan. Scatter the garlic over and pour 1/2 cup of water into the baking dish.

    3. Step 3

      Cover the lamb tightly with foil and cook for 4 hours, or until the lamb is tender. Uncover and cook for 30 minutes longer, or until the top of the lamb has caramelised slightly. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Pour the cooking liquid from the baking dish into a tall slim container, allowing the fat to rise to the top. Transfer the cooking liquid to the refrigerator to cool.

    4. Step 4

      Wearing kitchen gloves, carefully remove the bones from the lamb shoulder: the bones should slip out easily. (See notes to press meat). Tear the meat into 6 rustic portions.

    5. Step 5

      Discard the fat from the cooking liquid and transfer 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid to a large saucepan. Add the cabbage and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the cabbage is just wilted. Spoon some mint yoghurt onto each of 6 plates. Divide the cabbage among the plates and place a piece of lamb alongside the cabbage. Serve immediately.

    Master class tip: How to press meat

    Once you've removed the meat from the bones, press it! It's a simple step we do in restaurants to form crispy edges around the meltingly-tender meat, and a useful make-ahead technique too. Here's how:

    1) Line a 33cm x 23cm baking dish with baking paper. Transfer the warm boneless lamb meat (in one piece) to the dish and cover with another piece of baking paper. Place another baking dish on top of the lamb and carefully place cans in the dish to weigh down the lamb. If you're doing this with leftovers, use a dish that is suitable for the smaller amount you're pressing.

    2) Transfer the lamb to the refrigerator and leave to press overnight. Cover and refrigerate the cooking liquid. Cut the pressed and chilled lamb into six 9cm x 3.5cm rectangles. Reserve the lamb offcuts for another use.

    3) Preheat the oven to 230C (210C fan-forced). Heat a large heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat. Add the lamb pieces cut side down and cook, without turning, for about 4 minutes, or until the lamb pieces are crispy on the seared side. Transfer the pan to the oven to cook for 10 minutes, or until the lamb is heated through. Reheat the cooking liquid as directed in step 5, above.

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