Braised shoulder of lamb with jewelled stuffing
- Preparation and cooking time
- Plus soaking
- More effort
- Serves 6
- 1 ½kg boned shoulder of lamb
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 onion , roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves , chopped
- 175ml dry cider or dry white wine
- 500ml chicken stock
- strip orange zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
For the stuffing
- 50g stoned dates , roughly chopped
- 50g dried apricots , roughly chopped
- 25g dried cranberries
- 25g shelled pistachios , roughly chopped
- handful parsley , finely chopped, plus extra for serving
- 1 shallot , finely chopped
- zest ½ orange
- 3 slices stale bread , whizzed into crumbs
- STEP 1
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.
- STEP 2
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.
- STEP 3
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.
- STEP 4
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 sprinkled over.