Aromatic Braised Shoulder of Lamb

, from Issue #55. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Aromatic Braised Shoulder of Lamb

Full flavoured, rustic and so very delicious! Slow cooking renders this meat so tender and juicy that it can be sliced or just pulled apart. Spicy red lentils make a lovely accompaniment and are a nice change from potatoes.

Serves: 6


1.5 kilogram boned shoulder of lamb
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large onions, sliced thickly
1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, allspice, turmeric and ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup beef stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Spiced red lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon each ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼–½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 x 400 gram tin crushed tomatoes
2½ cups chicken stock or water
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve
thick plain yoghurt
olive oil
1 teaspoon mint leaves, chopped

kitchen string


Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Season the lamb and tie into a neat shape with kitchen string.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and brown the lamb until golden on both sides. Transfer to a baking dish or roasting pan.

Add the onions to the pan, season and cook for 5 minutes. Add all the spices and the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, adding a good splash of water if the pan is too dry.

Stir in the stock and bring to the boil. Pour the contents of the pan over the lamb. Cover the meat with a piece of baking paper then cover tightly with foil or a lid.

Braise for 3 hours, turning the meat over halfway through cooking. Test the meat with a fork, it should pull apart easily. If it doesn’t, cover again and continue to braise for another 30 minutes.

Lentils: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and cook the onion and cinnamon stick with a good pinch of salt until the onion is tender. Stir in the garlic and all the spices and cook for 1 minute.

Add the lentils, tomatoes and stock and season. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 20–25 minutes until tender, stirring often to prevent it sticking on the base of the pan.

To serve: Transfer the lamb to a serving platter. Tilt the baking dish, scoop off excess fat and discard. Spoon the onions over the lamb and serve with the lentils. Put the yoghurt in a serving bowl, drizzle over olive oil, scatter with the mint leaves and serve alongside.