Lamb has become more expensive recently because of the drought and we could have pulled this recipe and gone with pork, but we made a decision not to in order to support the farmers. They still need income. I love shoulder because there are so many different muscles in there that break down beautifully. Also, it’s probably the most worked muscle on the beast, so there’s better flavour and better texture. Leg is delicious too, but the shoulder for me slow cooks so well, and remember: bone in, always.
1/2 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 Tbs dried oregano
Zest and juice of a lemon
100mL extra virgin olive oil
1.8kg lamb shoulder, bone in
500mL white wine
200g dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into chunks
Handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
Combine onion, garlic, oregano, lemon zest and juice and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth. Massage the mixture all over the lamb shoulder and season well. Cover, refrigerate and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Pre-heat oven to 220 C or fan-forced to 200 C. Place the shoulder in a roasting tin, skin side up and roast for 10 minutes to caramelise.
After 10 minutes, add wine to the tin, cover with baking paper and aluminium foil to seal the edges. Drop the temperature to 170 C or 150 C for fan forced.
After 2 hours of cooking, strain the soaking chickpeas and add them to the roasting tin around the lamb, cover again with baking paper and foil, adding a little water if necessary, to almost cover the chickpeas.
The chickpeas will begin to cook along with the lamb and absorb the cooking juices. Continue cooking for a further 2 hours, or until tender.
For the final 15 minutes, increase temperature to 220 C or 200 C fan-forced. Remove foil, add tomatoes and mint, mixing slightly with chickpeas and cook uncovered.
Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes, skim some fat from the pan, then serve.