Fragrant Lamb Shoulder with sticky figs, pistachio and lemon gravel
2-4 kg-lamb shoulder bone in
Salt and pepper to season
1-2 litres weak chicken stock (this will depend on the depth of the baking dish you use
1 teaspoon freshly grated turmeric (or powder)
1-tablespoon ground cumin/ras el hanout spice
1 cinnamon quill and three star anise
2 tablespoons chopped dried figs or pitted dates
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup almonds/pistachios/other nuts roasted and chopped
Season the shoulder with salt and pepper, some of the turmeric and spices and rub into the skin with a little water or oil to give the shoulder a nice suntan! Now place skin side up in a roasting tray with the stock making sure the stock comes at least halfway up the shoulder so it is nicely submerged by half. If you have too much cooking liquid reserve it for later as you may need to top up the lamb during the cooking process. Roast (actually it’s braising) in a hot oven of 220c for at least an hour, remove from the ovenand turn the shoulder over, return to the oven for half an hour and turn over again. Cook for another 15-30 minutes to get the skin nicely brown and crisp and then remove from oven. Make the bling by mixing the chopped dates, nuts and zest together. Garnish the lamb with the bling and then serve!
NOTE: If you have a little more time this actually benefits from a long slow cook so reduce the heat to 160c and cook for 4 hours altogether! It will be falling apart with tenderness!