Slow Roast Moroccan-style Shoulder of Lamb

I’ll be cooking this at some point over the Xmas period. It’s a twist on a recipe from the second Moro cookbook – “Casa Moro“.

It’s a “low maintenance” slow roast oven dish – you do your prep, then get it going in the oven and leave it for about 4 to 6 hours, occasionally basting the joint with the pan juices. It’s cooked on the bone for extra flavour, and the bone helps conduct the heat into the centre of the joint.

You need a bone-in shoulder of lamb. (You often see boned and rolled shoulder on display, but any halfway decent butcher should be able to get you a bone in joint.)

Preheat your oven to about 160C, get your meat out of the fridge and start to let it come up to room temperature.

Grind up 2 to 3 tablespoons of whole cumin seeds – with a mortar and pestle if you’re feeling hard or traditional, or with a coffee/spice grinder if you’re soft/lazy. Ready ground/powerdered cumin just doesn’t give the same result in my experience. Go for the freshly ground.

Mix the freshly ground cumin with about 1 to 2 teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika. This is a bit more than the Moro recipe suggests. I’ve been using La Chinata sweet smoked paprika, which is maybe which I’ve been using more of it, as it’s quite mild and pleasant.

Next, add about half to one teaspoon of hot paprika, and a tablespoon of crushed/ground sea salt and mix it all together to create what is basically a cumin salt.

When you’re ready to put the lamb in the oven, melt some butter, and brush it all over the meat, then rub the meat down with the cumin/paprika salt mix.

Roast the meat at 140-160C for about 4-5 hours (I usually turn the oven down slightly after the first 30-45 mins), occasionally spooning the pan juices over the meat, until it is falling off the bone. The cumin salt rub may form a bit of a “crust”, which is okay.

Serving: I usually do some roasted veggies, such as slow roast red onions, peppers, possibly aubergines or a squash, and cous-cous, that sort of thing. The best way I’ve found to present this is family style – just pop it in the middle of the table with a couple of forks and knives, let people help themselves, and don’t keep count of how many times they come back for more.

In the unlikely event you have any leftovers, try to strip any left over meat from the bones before it cools down fully (it’s just easier that way), and it’s great for sandwiches or using to make Mediterranean-style meatballs.

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