Bella Cosi Bugs
An Italian delight, perfect for an intimate dinner party.
1 lamb shoulder (bone in)
1 head garlic
8 sprigs rosemary
1/2 bunch thyme
6 bay leaves
2 Tbs olive oil
500mL full fat yoghurt
1/2 cup river mint
1 head garlic
1 cup salt bush leaves
2 cups vegetable oil
Roughly chop garlic, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Combine with olive oil and use to marinate the lamb shoulder.
Place shoulder in a heavy based roasting tray and cook at 120 C for about 6 hours or until the meat can easily be pulled away from the bone.
For an even better result, but a little more challenging, try the same process using a Webber or wood barbeque. It can be difficult to maintain a consistent temperature, but nothing beats a quality joint of meat cooked carefully over hot coals or smouldering aromatic wood.
Combine yoghurt, mint and a little sea salt in a blender and blend until smooth and green. Hang yoghurt in a cheesecloth or coffee filter for a couple of hours, so the whey separates and a thick luscious sauce remains.
Heat vegetable oil to 160 C in a heavy based saucepan. Fry saltbush leaves until crisp, they are ready when the oil stops sizzling. Lift from pan using a small strainer or slotted spoon and drain well on a paper towel.
Repeat process with sliced garlic.
Take 1/3 of each and blend with 1 Tbs of vegetable oil to create a paste for later presentation.
If lamb is being cooked in oven, turn heat up to 200 C for 15-20 minutes to crisp up the meat. Using the back of a spoon, smear the shoulder with the paste, then top with fried saltbush and garlic chips.
Place on a large serving platter. Spoon the mint yoghurt onto the side of the platter or place in a separate bowl.
Serve with roast vegetables such as carrots or Jerusalem artichokes, or perhaps a fresh salad with herbs, radish and fennel.