Slow-roasted lamb shoulder on herbed couscous with mint and peas
This fall-apart shoulder roast is something to prepare for a fuss-free dinner party. You can start early with the lamb because it needs quite a few hours in the oven, filling your kitchen with the most delectable smells, and leaving very little effort for the couscous and peas.
|12||pickling onions — peeled but kept whole|
|4-6||garlic cloves — peeled but kept whole|
|2 kg||lamb shoulder|
|5 ml||dried oregano|
|salt and black pepper — to taste|
|250 ml||dry white wine|
|500 ml||boiling water|
|20 g||fresh mint — finely chopped (reserve some for topping)|
|20 g||fresh Italian parsley — finely chopped|
|1||lemon — zest and juice|
|30-45 ml||extra virgin olive oil|
|250 g||fresh or frozen peas|
For the lamb, preheat the oven to 220 °C and place the onions and garlic in a large deep roasting tray. Place the lamb shoulder on top, scattering with origanum and seasoning with salt and pepper all over. Add the wine and water to the tray, then cover with a lid (or with foil). Roast for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 120 °C and roast for another 6–7 hours until very tender and falling from the bone.
About 30 minutes before the lamb is ready, place the couscous and boiling water in a bowl and season with salt. Cover with a lid or a plate and leave to steam for about5 minutes. Fluff up the couscous with a fork, then add the mint and parsley, lemon juice and rind and olive oil. Stir well and add more salt if needed. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
Briefly cook the peas in boiling water and drain, then stir through the butter and season with salt and pepper. When the lamb is ready and completely fall-apart tender, transfer it with most of the pan juices (if the pan juices are too much, pour into a small jug and serve on the side) to a large serving platter along with the peas, scatter with a few whole mint leaves, and serve with the couscous on the side.
Recipe extract from Simply Seasonal, Ilse van der Merwe’s latest cookbook. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.