Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb and Rhubarb

, from Issue #50. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb and Rhubarb

The lovely tartness of the rhubarb is a great foil for the richness of the lamb. Shoulder chops have fantastic flavour but do need to be cooked gently until the meat is so tender it just falls off the bone.

Serves: 4–6


1 tablespoon olive oil
knob of butter
1½ kilograms lamb shoulder chops, excess fat trimmed off or 1 kilogram lamb leg steaks
2 onions, sliced
1 stick celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander and turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups chicken stock
3 sticks rhubarb
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon each chopped mint and flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds (when in season)


Preheat the oven to 150˚C.

Heat the oil and butter in a large ovenproof casserole or saucepan.

Season the chops and brown on both sides, removing to a plate as they’re done. Do this in batches.

Add the onion, celery and garlic, cover and cook until soft adding a splash of water if needed. Add all the spices and cook for 1 minute then add the stock and the lamb, along with any meat juices. Season and bring to the boil then cover the meat with a piece of baking paper then a lid or aluminium foil.

Bake for 1½ hours until the lamb is very tender and falling off the bone, turning the lamb once during cooking.

Slice the rhubarb 1½ cm thick on the diagonal and place over the meat. Cover and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the rhubarb is just tender but not falling apart.

To serve: Carefully transfer the lamb and rhubarb to a serving platter and scatter over the herbs and cranberries.