To make the stuffing, soak the dates,
apricots and cranberries in boiling water
for 30 mins, then drain and squeeze dry
gently. Mix with the rest of the stuffing
ingredients and salt and pepper.
Season the lamb well on both sides.
Spread on the stuffing, then roll into
shape and secure with string. Heat the
oil in a large, lidded ovenproof pan. Add
the lamb and brown on all sides. Remove
to a plate.
Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2.
Brown the onions in the remaining fat
for 5 mins, add the garlic and sizzle for
30 secs. Now pour in the cider and as it
bubbles, scrape up any caramelised bits
at the bottom and sides of the pan. Add
enough of the stock to come ¹/³ of the
way up the lamb, and the orange zest,
cinnamon and bay leaves.
Cover with a piece of crumpled baking
parchment and cook for 2½-3 hrs, turning
halfway through, until the meat is
completely tender. Remove and wrap
with foil. Strain the juices and spoon
off any fat that comes to the top, then
put into a wide pan and boil to reduce
for 5-10 mins, until slightly thickened
and rich in flavour. Season with salt,
pepper and a squeeze of lemon or
orange juice, if necessary. Slice the lamb
and serve with the sauce, and parsley