|1.5 kg||lamb shoulder — deboned, reserve bones and off cuts|
|1||lemon — quartered and pips removed|
|2 tsp||ground cinnamon|
|1 1/2 tsp||salt|
|1 tsp||black pepper — freshly ground|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|1 tbsp||powdered gelatine|
|1/2 l||sour cherry juice|
|2 cup||boiling water|
|2 tbsp||pomegranate molasses|
|1/2 cup||vegetable stock — hot|
|1/3 cup||pistachios — shelled and chopped|
|1/3 cup||Sour Cherries — pitted, drained (keep juice for cooking lamb in)|
|100 ml||vegetable stock|
|4 tbsp||fresh mint — finely chopped|
|2||spring onions — chopped, include the green stems|
|1||orange — zest and juice|
|1/2 cup||red wine|
|1 cup||chicken stock|
|1/2 - 1 cup||pan juices — reserved from the roasted lamb|
Marinate the lamb
Place the lemon, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and oil in the blender. Blend until smooth and pour into a large Ziplock bag.
With the tip of a sharp knife score the outer layer of skin and fat of the lamb, but do not cut into the meat, cross-hatching the entire surface of the lamb.
Place the lamb in the large Ziplock bag with the marinade, seal tightly and shake the bag around so that the entire lamb shoulder is covered with the marinade. Leave in the fridge for 24 hours or up to 2 days.
Remove the lamb from the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
Prepare the stuffing
Prepare the stuffing; place the couscous in a large bowl and add the hot stock and leave for 5-10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Loosen with a fork and set aside to cool.
Stir in the chopped pistachios, drained sour cherries, mint, spring onion, orange juice and zest. Mix well together.
Prepare the lamb
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
Remove the meat from the marinade. Place the meat on a chopping board, meaty side up. Sprinkle the gelatin over the meaty side. Spread the stuffing evenly over the lamb shoulder, be careful to not overfill. Roll up and secure with butcher’s twine.
Spread the remaining marinade over the rolled-up lamb. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place the quartered onions and lamb bones in a large oven roasting pan. Place the lamb on a rack that fits over the pan and add 2 cups of boiling water and the drained cherry juice to the pan. Cover the meat with a tinfoil tent. Place the rack in the bottom half of the oven. Roast for 2 hours.
Remove the foil, carefully pour the meaty cherry juices from the pan into a large saucepan and add the pomegranate molasses. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C, recover the lamb and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
Boil the meaty cooking liquid over high heat until reduced, thick, and syrupy, about 15-20 minutes. Pour the thick cherry glaze over the lamb and onions and return to the oven for another 10 minutes uncovered until the glaze is bubbling and starting to char, and the lamb is tender. Remove the lamb from the oven, transfer the roasted lamb to a warm platter and rest for 15 minutes covered with foil whilst making the sauce.
Prepare the sauce
Pour the red wine and port into the roasting pan in which the lamb was cooked.
Place over medium heat, and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring until liquid has reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 10-12 minutes. Skim the fat of the surface if required.
Strain the sauce into a gravy boat and serve hot with the sliced lamb. Serve with yogurt, mixed with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves on the side.
Supported by the Red Meat Industry of SA – Recipes and styling by Gerrie du Rand and photos by Michelle Parkin.