When I think of Greeck or Turkish food, instantly kebabs come to mind. Although they may not be the biggest fans of each other, I am a fan of both their food cultures. This dish isn’t a kebab by nature, as it does not involve using your traditional skewers or a grill. This is a slow roast lamb, my very own pulled lamb – with the spices of the Eastern Mediterranean. It works so well and the end result is incredible. Your mouth will water as all your senses go into action!
I treated this dish like a regular pulled pork recipe in regards to the method, but the ingredients of course are very different. I placed a lamb stock cube and 600ml of water into a tray and raised the lamb shoulder above the water on a rack. I used a grill rack which fitted perfectly into the deep roasting tray. For the lamb I used a dry rub of mixed herbs and spices which I massaged into the meat. When doing this you can visualise the juices running from the lamb as it cooks slowly, blending with the dry rub and creating the most intense flavours.
Before cooking I wrapped the meat with tin foil so that it didn’t dry out. Then all I had to do was leave it to roast for 5 to 6 hours on a low temperature. It sounds like a long time, but believe me it is worth it! Once it’s ready it will just fall off the bone. When you are shredding the lamb, put the tray back in the oven and turn the heat up to reduce the stock. Don’t worry if it is still runny, just add the shredded meat back in and mix it altogether.
Now have a taste, how good is that? So rich yet addictive, you just can’t stop eating, but be strong as you will want to save it for meal time! You will need the mint yogurt to cut through the richness and that beautiful fresh salad adding a crisp crunch to that lovely soft lamb.
The salad is real easy, just shred some lettuce and cabbage (about equal portions), then add a sliced red onion and you’re ready. If you’re using fresh mint in your yogurt then I would advise you make it an hour or two before so that it infusesthe yogurt better. You can just add regular mint sauce to the yoghurt – which still works very well. I used pitta bread for a kebab style finish, but wraps work really well too and they are easier to pick up and eat!
Ingredients & Method
- 1 whole lamb shoulder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground all spice
- 600ml water to one lamb stock cube.
- half 1 whole cabbage
- half 1 whole lettuce
- 1 who red onion
- 300g Greek yogurt
- 2 to 3 sprigs of mint to taste or alternatively two tsp of mint sauce
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 2/150°C/300°F. Mix all the herbs and spices together to make your dry rub.
- Get your lamb shoulder and rub the dry mix evenly all over the lamb, massaging it into the meat and making sure it is completely covered.
- Dissolve the stock cube in 600ml of boiling water. Place the stock into the bottom of the tray under the rack. Sit the meat on the rack above the water and cover securely with tin foil.
- Place in the centre of the oven for 5 to 6 hours.
- You can prepare the salad and garnish an hour or two beforehand. Slice the onion, cabbage and lettuce up and mix together. Cover and place in a bowl in the fridge for later. Add the mint to the yogurt and mix well, cover and set aside in the fridge.
- Serve with warm pitta or wraps for everyone to help themselves!