Slow-braised Aromatic Lamb Shoulder with Green Chilli Relish

, from Issue #105. September, 2022
Photography by Yuki Sato.
Slow-braised Aromatic Lamb Shoulder with Green Chilli Relish

Slow-roast lamb is one of my go-to entertaining recipes, and this one, with its fresh and spicy relish, is especially popular!

Serves: 6-8


5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon each ground coriander and cumin
1 teaspoon each ground cardamom, allspice and sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
¼ cup olive oil
1.5-kilogram boneless lamb shoulder

2 large brown onions, peeled and thickly sliced
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 cup each parsley, mint and coriander leaves
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
finely grated zest 1 lemon
3-4 green chillies, roughly chopped (not de-seeded)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sea salt


Preheat the oven to 150°C regular bake.

SPICE PASTE: Blitz all the ingredients except the lamb in a food processor to a smooth paste.

Spread the spice paste all over the flesh of the lamb, avoiding the fat on top and pushing it into all the nooks and crannies. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 6 hours, or up to overnight.

TO COOK: Scatter the onions over the base of a deep roasting tray that will hold the lamb snugly. Pour in 2 cups of water, then place the lamb on top, skin side up. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cover tightly with foil to seal, then bake for 4 hours.

Increase the heat to 180°C regular bake.

Uncover the lamb, sprinkle with the cumin seeds and bake for a further 45 minutes, until meltingly tender.

GREEN CHILLI RELSH: Blitz all the ingredients in a small food processor.

TO SERVE: Carefully transfer the lamb to a serving plate and spoon over some of the cooking juices. Serve with the Green Chilli Relish.

Hoist the herbaceousness of the green chilli relish and the richness of the lamb to new heights with a glass of the wild and woolly Matahiwi Wild Holly Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2021 ($35). It's had three weeks on skins to extract colour and texture, then been aged for 14 months in French oak to inject some smoke. Stylish.

Matahiwi Wild Holly Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2021