Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooked Lamb
Now, repeat after me; slow and low.
Slow and low, my friends.
This is one of the very best ways to cook meat according to the gospel of the Barefoot Baker (and numerous others, I’m sure) and I have no idea how people dare put together even a Sunday roast without allowing their meat to slowly cook in it’s own juices. The moisture, low heat and slow cooking time allow for everything to just fall apart and melt in the mouth. It also permits us – as I mentioned in my Pulled Pork recipe – to purchase cut cost pieces of meat that go further for less. This shoulder of lamb cost a mere £7 and by the time it had finished cooking it was so gloriously tender I could pull the bone clean out. Not too shabby, if you ask me.
This was a sticky, spicy, Asian-inspired, BBQ-influenced dish and it was flipping delicious. It does require a long time cooking but a very short time prepping and is totally perfect served with fairly basic sides – I opted for plain rice and al dente green beans (because I’m totally obsessed with them) – so it’s a really great option if you’re entertaining and don’t want to be a slave to the kitchen; finally emerging an hour after your guests have been there chatting amongst themselves and guzzling all the wine whilst you slide into your chair smelling of garlic, and goodness knows what else, feeling far too frazzled to even enjoy the meal you just spent your entire evening cooking. Wow, what a sentence. The punctuation Gods are currently cursing me left, right and centre.
So, yes. Try this recipe. Seriously, try it.
1 kg shoulder of lamb
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
6 tbsp clear honey
100ml soy sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp corriander
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
4 red chillies
4 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp fresh ginger
6 spring onions
1 tbsp ketchup
2 brown onions
The night before you plan on cooking up this dish you want to start marinading your meat: Take the lamb and score diamonds into the fat – you want good, couple of centimetre deep lines – and pop into a deep pot or pan. Then start putting together your marinade.
In a jug pour 75ml of soy sauce, 4 tbsp honey, 2 chopped chillies, 3 crushed cloves of garlic, 2 chopped spring onions, 2 grated tbsp fresh ginger and all of the salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, corriander and paprika. Stir well until all the sugar has dissolved and coat the lamb in the marinade, making sure to get it in all the nooks and crannies.
Seal the top of the dish with cling film or foil or really anything at all (hey, maybe even a lid. That’d be novel…) and keep in the fridge overnight.
Take the meat out of the fridge a good 90 minutes before you plan on popping it in the oven just to let it get up to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 150.
Take a long sheet of foil and drape it over your baking tray (you’ll want one that’s about two inches deep) and make sure you leave enough foil on all sides to well cover the meat.
Chop your brown onions and place them, with the two remaining tablespoons of fresh ginger, on the tray and lay your meat – fat side up – on top of them. Make sure you pour all of the marinade out of the dish – you don’t want to miss any of those lovely flavour – and pour in the water.
Fold the foil over the meat, making sure it’s completely covered and pop into the oven for 7 hours.
After about 6 hours take the meat out of the oven and pour all of the juice out from the bottom of the pan into a saucepan. Cover the lamb back up with the foil and stick in the oven.
To the saucepan add 25ml soy sauce, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp ketchup and 1 crushed clove of garlic and stir on a low heat until it reduces and gets beautifully sticky. 20 minutes before you’re due to serve up, take the foil off the lamb, pull out the bone (trust me, it’ll come out easy as pie) and slather on your lovely glaze. Pop back in the oven and increase the temperature to 175.
In these last twenty minutes gather together your sides and chop the remaining 2 chillies and 4 spring onions so that you can top your lamb with them when it’s out of the oven this’ll add a fresh crunch and heat to the dish. Now, sit down, enjoy and watch your lamb simply disappear!