Slow roasted lamb with a carrot and apricot ragout

Brr, boy is it chilly! Winter has definitely settled in and for me that means lots of slow cooked food. I absolutely love cooking slow dishes on the weekend- I don’t stick to a recipe but I enjoy just pottering in the kitchen and creating new things. Once it’s in the oven it’s time to curl up with a good book for the afternoon-after all someone has to keep an eye on my labor of love!

I served this one with some ricotta gnocchi, which was nice but not great. The recipe needs some tweaking before I share it with you, in the meantime this would go great with some mashed potato or gnocchi. A glass of red is also highly recommended!

IngredientsIMG_0783

  • 1 kg Lamb shoulder or leg roast
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • good glug olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 jar tomato paste
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • about 4 cups of chicken stock

Combine all the herbs with a generous glug of olive oil. Chop your lamb into four equal pieces and add to the herb bowl. Mix well, ensuring the lamb is well coated with the herb mixture. Set aside to marinate, ideally for a couple of hours.

Before cooking lamb, slice onion, chop garlic finely and cut carrot into matchsticks. Chop half of the coriander bunch. Pre heat oven to 160 (fan forced) or 180 conventional.

Place a large fry pan on on high and when hot, add lamb pieces. Add any leftover olive/herb mix. Sear lamb on all sides, then remove and set aside.

Adjust the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, stirring frequently until translucent and fragrant. Add carrots and fry for 5-6 minutes or until softened. Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until warmed through. Take off the heat.

In a large casserole dish add: lamb pieces and chopped coriander. Add the tomato mixture, then pour over the stock. Put the lid on and pop in the oven.

Now, the actual amount of time it will take to cook will vary. I would allow 5 hours for your meat to cook- but it may take less than that. What you are looking for is meat that just falls apart when touched. I usually squeeze the meat with a pair on tongs; its ready with the meat falls apart with only gentle pressure.

Check your meat every hour, and top it up with more liquid as needed.

Given that cooking times vary, it can be tricky to know when to add the apricots. I would recommend adding them at the 3 to 3 and a half hour mark.

When the lamb is very tender, remove from the oven. Remove lamb pieces and set aside.

If you can use your casserole dish on the stovetop, pop it on a medium heat. If not, transfer the liquid into a saucepan on medium heat, bring to a gentle boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until reduced slightly.

While the sauce is simmering, shred the lamb. You can either shred finely or shred roughly and serve chunky. Both are delicious.

When the sauce has reduced to your liking (there’s no firm rule here), add the lamb back in and heat through.

Serve with gnocchi or mashed potato and sprinkle over the remaining coriander.

This makes plenty, so enjoy the leftovers! It goes great with couscous.

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