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Embrace the Cold Weather with a Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder

May 23, 2024

By Fiona Hamann

As we gear up for the cooler months, there’s something truly special about the comforting aromas and soul-nourishment that slow cooking brings. It’s like a hug on a plate, or in a bowl. When it comes to slow cooking, lamb is the go-to star in this cosy culinary adventure. Slow cooking isn’t just about the food—it’s about the joy of mindfully creating something truly special and savouring every moment. However, there’s also a tonne of joy in the eating. I bought two lamb shoulders from the Sydney Wholesale Meats at Richmond and decided to try my own spin on Yottam Ottolenghi’s Marmalade-Glazed Lamb Shoulder for a crowd over Easter. I used some Maggie Beer Blood Orange marmalade from the Richmond Fruit Market, though I have no doubt there are fabulous local marmalades that would work just as well (the key is to get a bitter marmalade).

I switched tangerines for mandarins and added some excellent-quality spices from The Spice Basket in Richmond to elevate the dish. The result was excellent! The lamb turned out so tender and packed with flavour that I’ve already decided I’m making it over and over again throughout the winter. Best of all you don’t need a slow cooker, just a deep baking pan. 

The recipe calls for ten anchovies, which might scare some of you. I promise you can’t taste them—they just add amazing umami depth of flavour. It’s best to marinade overnight as well. 

Serve with couscous, baked root vegetables, and warm, fresh, crusty bread to soak up all that delicious sauce. If you choose to swap out the soy sauce with a GF option, it’s also a gluten-free recipe. 

Lamb with Marmalade Glaze

Prep 15 min

 Cook 4 hr 45 min

 Serves 6

For the Glaze

100ml blood orange or other bitter marmalade

 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari sauce

 2 tsp Aleppo chilli flakes

 1 tsp mixed spice (I made my own, recipe below, or you can buy it pre-mixed)

For the lamb

1 bone-in lamb shoulder (about 2 kg)

 2 tbsp mixed spice

 2 tsp ground cumin

 ½ tsp sugar

 1 tsp olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

 3 celery sticks, trimmed and roughly chopped (190g net)

 6 mandarins, peeled and cut in half widthways

 2 garlic heads, cut in half widthways (leave the skin on)

 4 eschallots, peeled and cut in half lengthways, or two Spanish onions quartered.

 10 anchovy fillets

 a small bunch of thyme sprigs

 750ml chicken stock, the best quality you can afford

Method: 

  1. Combine all the glaze ingredients in a bowl and then set them aside.
  2. Place the lamb in a large, high-sided roasting dish lined with greaseproof paper. Mix the mixed spice, cumin, sugar, oil, one and a half teaspoons of salt, and a quarter teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Rub this mixture evenly all over the lamb. Allow the lamb to marinate at room temperature for an hour, or for best results, refrigerate it overnight (if refrigerated, remove it from the fridge an hour before cooking to allow it to return to room temperature).
  1. Preheat the oven to 240C (220C fan). Place all the remaining lamb ingredients in the tray around the meat, then tightly cover with foil and roast for 15 minutes.
  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C (160C fan) and cook the lamb for four hours until the meat is tender and easily falls apart. Do not check the lamb frequently to prevent heat and steam from escaping—I didn’t check mine at all.
  1. Take the roasting dish from the oven, uncover it, and brush three-quarters of the glaze over the lamb. Return it to the oven and roast uncovered for 30 minutes until the meat forms a nice crust. Remove from the oven, brush the remaining glaze all over the lamb lightly cover with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

To make your own mixed spice, combine the following ingredients:

1 TB ground allspice

1 TB ground cinnamon

1 TB ground nutmeg

2 tsp ground mace

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground coriander or whole seeds

1 tsp ground ginger

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