Showing posts with label roast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roast. Show all posts

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Roasted Vegetables

You can’t beat lamb shoulder, slow roasted with loads of vegetables, rosemary and garlic. It practically falls off the bone, the succulent lamb is so tender. I promise you won't even need a knife.

This week my Sunday Supper group is joyously celebrating a wedding we wish we could really attend, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the sequel to one of our favorite movies. It’s been a long time coming! When the theme for this week was first announced, all I could think about was the quote from Aunt Voula, and one of my favorite scenes from the first movie.
Aunt Voula: What do you mean he don't eat no meat?
[the entire room stops, in shock]
Aunt Voula: Oh, that's okay. I make lamb.
So I had to make lamb. We eat lamb a minimum of three to four times a month at our house, either roasted leg or shoulder, lamb steaks, lamb patties with mashed potatoes and gravy, not to mention grilled lamb chops. This dish is one of our favorites and would make a great main course for Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday which will be celebrated on May 1st this year.

Make sure you scroll down and check out the link list of all the other My Big Fat Greek Wedding-inspired dishes we are sharing today, along with our talented host, Nichole from Casa de Crews. What a fabulous Greek wedding feast this would be!

Adapted from

2 purple onions (approx. weight 9 oz or 255g)
3 carrots (approx. weight 9 oz or 255g)
2- 3 stalks celery (approx. weight 3 3/4 oz or 105g)
Few sprigs fresh thyme
5-6 fresh rosemary sprigs, plus 1 for garnish, if desired
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 lb 10 oz or 2.55kg lamb shoulder, bone in
2 1/3 oz or 65g cloves garlic (about 15)
2 red chili peppers (optional but we love the hint of spice that infuses the whole dish)
4 ripe tomatoes (approx. weight 11 oz or 312g)
2 cans – 14oz or 400g – whole plum tomatoes
1 2/3 cups or 375ml drinkable red wine (half a bottle)
2 bay leaves
1 large leek (approx. weight 14 oz or 400g, before trimming)

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and make sure the shelves are positioned so that you put a pan with a big lamb shoulder in it. I use my large Le Creuset roaster so I put the shelf almost at the bottom to leave room for the cover and its round handle.

Peel the onions and carrots. Quarter the onions. Cut the carrots and celery into bite-sized pieces.

Strip the leaves off of your thyme and sprinkle half of them into the bottom of a large roasting pan, along with a good drizzle of olive oil, a couple of sprigs of rosemary and a good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Season the bottom of your lamb shoulder with more salt and pepper and lay it on the herb bed.

Use a sharp paring knife to poke holes in the top of the lamb shoulder, then stuff these holes with a quarter or half a clove of garlic (depending on the size of your clove) and a few rosemary leaves.

Give the whole thing a good sprinkle of salt, fresh ground black pepper. Add on the other half of the thyme leaves and a generous drizzle of olive oil.

Add the onions, celery and chili peppers around the lamb shoulder.

Chop your tomatoes in large pieces and add them to the pot along with the carrots.

Pour in the canned tomatoes, along with half a can of water and the rest of the garlic cloves.

Pour in the wine and then tuck the bay leaves down in between the vegetables.

Thoroughly clean the leek, cut off and discard the hard green end, and then chop the white part into small cylinders. Add these to the pot.

Cover the roasting pan tightly with a double layer of heavy-duty foil or its tight fitting cover and put it into the oven. Turn down the oven temperature to 325°F or 170°C and cook for about three hours.

Remove the cover or the foil, baste the lamb shoulder with the juice in the pan or drizzle with a little more olive oil.  Cook for another 30 minutes or until the lamb is nicely browned and falling off the bone.

You can gently remove some of the bones before putting it on the table for folks to help themselves or pull it apart for them in the kitchen.

Either way, serve it with some crusty bread to sop up all the juices. Or over the top of some mashed potatoes.


Have you seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 yet? It just opened in the cinemas here in Dubai but I haven’t had a chance go yet so I am going to have to just console myself with some movie-inspired dishes instead. Won’t you join me?

Greek Appetizers:
Greek Soups:
Greek Breakfast:
Greek Main Dishes:
Greek Side Dishes:
Greek Desserts:
Greek Beverages:


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Slow-Roasted Lamb with 40 Cloves of Garlic #NationalGarlicDay

Lamb shoulder is the perfect cut for a good long roasting in the oven and it goes especially well with garlic in abundance. The tender meat falls off the bones and the resulting gravy is rich and aromatic. If you’ve never tried lamb shoulder, it’s time, friends, it’s time. This recipe is best started early in the morning, or even the day before you want to serve it.

Growing up, my grandmother had what we call a fouillon about lamb that she passed on to my mother. I have no idea how that’s really spelled but it means a quirk against or an aversion in Cajun French. My mom extended this aversion to anything goat, as well, even my beloved goat milk cheese. She said she could taste the animal and it didn’t taste good. 

Needless to say, we never had lamb at home when I was a child so I didn’t really have an opportunity to try it until I married into a family of Brits who eat lamb all the time. It was too late to change my grandmother's mind, but I am pleased to say that I have converted my mother now and she enjoys rack of lamb and goat cheese. (Still working on the other cuts!) The moral of this story is that your mother is almost always right, unless she’s wrong.

Today we are celebrating National Garlic Day with a great garlicky giveaway and lots of center stage garlic recipes! Aside from its medicinal properties, garlic just tastes good. It adds warmth and spiciness and there are very few recipes that cannot be improved upon by adding garlic. Even ice cream! No kidding. Check out girlichef’s creamy treat made with black garlic in the links below. And make sure to enter the draw for the giveaway. One winner takes all!


Time! (This roasts for 6 and a half hours, not counting preparation and marinating time.)
1 shoulder of lamb on the bone, around 6 lbs or 2.7kg
1 cup or 240ml dry red wine

For seasoning the roast:
Leaves from 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary (Plus extra sprigs for garnish, if desired)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
10-12 black or mixed peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons flakey sea salt (like Maldon)
12 cloves garlic (about 1 3/4 oz or 50g)
1/8 cup or 30ml pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
Plus six extra cloves of garlic sliced lengthwise in quarters or sixths.

AND 22 more cloves – more or less – for adding to the pan in the last hour of roasting for a overall total of 40 cloves or about 6 oz or 165g of garlic.

Use a mortar and pestle to crush the first eight ingredients in the spice mix list until you create a fine paste. Add in the pomegranate molasses and olive oil and stir until well combined.

Put the extra six sliced cloves into the mix.

Score the fatty top of your lamb shoulder with a sharp knife. Using a small paring knife, make holes all over the shoulder, turning the knife as you plunge it in to widen the holes enough for you to fit a forefinger in them.

Poke a piece of garlic into each hole, along with some of the spice mixture, until you’ve used up all the extra garlic and have spice filled holes on all the sides of the lamb.

Rub the rest of the spice mixture all over the shoulder. Wrap it securely with cling film, refrigerate and leave to marinate as long as you can. Overnight would be great but even an hour or two would be good.

When you are ready to start roasting the lamb shoulder, remove it from the refrigerator and preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Put lamb in a baking tray or pan and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Add in your cup of wine and another cup of water around the roast. Cover with a tightly fitting lid or some aluminum foil. Turn the oven down to 250°F or 120°C.

After five hours, take the lamb out and toss in the remaining 22 whole garlic cloves. Baste it with the pan juices, cover the pan again and return it to the oven for one last hour of slow roasting.

When you are ready to serve, spoon off the oil in the pan. You can then pull the meat off the bones with a couple of forks and pour the pan juices over it. I let mine cool for quite a while and then wiggled the bones out to leave the roast looking relatively whole. Then I served it with a couple of forks and the pan juices made into gravy on the side. It was divine!

How about these wonderful recipes celebrating GARLIC!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary

Still on the empty-the-freezer-before-moving program!  It’s Christmas Day in KL and I have prepared all the usual dishes including a roast turkey breast instead of a whole turkey, but we have been invited to a Boxing Day party at my lovely friend Katie’s house, so I am also seasoning and roasting a whole leg of lamb.  We were asked to bring Christmas leftovers so this doesn’t exactly qualify but I hope it will be welcome.

1 whole leg of lamb – ours is 5 lbs or 2.26 kg
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
5-6 cloves of garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper
Olive oil

Pull the leaves off the rosemary stalks and mince them.

Cut your garlic cloves in half so you have two wide pieces.  Cut these into long strips.

Add the garlic to the rosemary with several good grinds of fresh black pepper and about two teaspoons of flakey sea salt.   Moisten liberally with olive oil and mix.

Score the leg fat with a sharp knife.

Using a sharp, pointed paring knife, make holes in the lamb by inserting and twisting about every two inches or four centimeters. 

Open the holes further by sticking your index finger in them.

Insert a strip of garlic along with some rosemary, salt and pepper mixture in each hole.  Do this all over the leg.  Some holes will be deeper, some shallower.  Such is the nature of a leg of lamb with a bone. 

Rub any leftover seasonings all of the leg.  Add an extra couple of grinds of black pepper. 

If you are not roasting the lamb immediately, refrigerate it, covered until an hour or two before you are ready to cook it.   When you are ready to roast, take it out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature or close.   Preheat your oven to 325°F or 165°C.

Add a cup of water to the pan and roast for about 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes, depending on how you like it done.   I find an instant read thermometer handy for this.  (Mine is quite simple, like the one in the link, but there are also thermometers that can be changed between Fahrenheit and Celsius.  (A quick web search in your country will give you a good idea of what is available.) Your internal temperature should be 140°F or 60°C for rare, 160°F or 71°C for medium and 170°F or 70°C for well done.  

Serve with gravy and mint sauce.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stuffed Whole Chicken Breast Roast

Once again, I’m trying to empty the freezer but this time I am actually making the dish I had in mind when I bought the chicken breasts.  It’s not often you find whole, by which I mean still attached to each other, boneless breasts, so when I saw these two, I scooped them up.  

I imagined them together, one on top, one on bottom with the stuffing in between, roasted so that the skin on the top and skin on the bottom of both turned a crispy, crunchy caramelized auburn.   When it comes to food, I have a very vivid imagination.

This summer I bought an entire roll of butchers’ roast netting and this seemed like a great opportunity to put it to good use.   I am a little older and wiser now though, so I figured out that I need a tube of some sort to wrap the netting around and then push the roast through.  If we could have filmed my mother and me this summer, struggling with an overstuffed pork roast and that netting, it would have been a YouTube sensation, titled Women Stuffing the Baby Back In, because that is what it looked like.  And the netting was just as unwilling as any new mother. Mercifully, we were home alone so no one caught us in the act.

2 whole boneless chicken breasts, still attached to each other – so four breasts in two pieces – a little more than a pound each – ask your butcher!
20g or 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 medium baby Portabella or Swiss Brown mushrooms
160g or almost 6oz frozen spinach, thawed
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium tomato
1/4 cup or 35-40g couscous – medium grain
1 egg
180g or 6.25oz ground or minced pork
Sea salt
Black pepper
Olive oil
Butchers’ netting or baking string

Chop up your tomato, onion, garlic and mushrooms.

Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the vegetables until they are soft.


Add a drizzle of olive oil, a couple of generous pinches of salt and a couple of good grinds of black pepper.  And then add the spinach.  Mix well.

Make a bowl out of your mixture and put in the couscous.  Add a 1/2 cup of boiling water to the couscous.  Don’t stress if your “bowl” breaks open.  Cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat off.   Let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Pour the stuffing into a large bowl and stir it around until it cools.  Add the egg and the ground pork.  Add a couple of more pinches of salt and grinds of black pepper. Mix well.

Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

Clean the fat off of your chicken breasts and then careful cut them from the middle almost to the outside with a sharp knife, horizontally.   Open the flap to flatten the breast.  Do this to the other side and then the other whole breast.

Put one double breast skin side down and pile the stuffing on top of it.  Use your judgment, if it looks like too much stuffing, just don’t put quite all on.  (Leftover stuffing can be fried up – remember you have raw egg and pork in there – and eaten with a spoon.  Delicious!)

Put the other double breast on top the opposite direction.    If you imagine the breasts as hearts – although I realize they aren’t so heart-like since you spread them out, work with me here – then the pointy end will be skin up on the wide end of the bottom heart.

Here comes the tricky part.  If you have string, here are some instructions.  If you are using the netting, cut the bottom half off of a  very large plastic cup.   Put the netting on the cup like you would a tight sock, leaving one end open and on end with netting hanging off. 

Start stuffing the roast in one end and gradually pull the netting over the roast as it comes out the other.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take photos and do this as well.  I really need a staff photographer for shots like that. 

Poke any stuffing back in and try to straighten the skin out under the netting. 

Drizzle the roast with olive oil and pop in it the pre-heated oven.  Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375°F or 190°C.  Roast for 15 minutes more and then turn it over.

After half an hour in the oven.

The bottom after I turned it over. 
Roast for 1 hour and then check the internal temperature.  180°F or 82°C is done for poultry.   If your temperature is at least 170°F or 77°C, you can leave it out to rest.  It will reach the correct temperature on its own.  If it is more than 10°F under, pop it back in the oven for another 10 minutes and then test again.

Carefully cut the netting or string with scissors and gently lift it off.

After about 5-10 minutes of resting time, carve the roast into nice slices.   If gravy is your thing, make some with the pan juices.  You know I did.