Go low and slow. Succulent and meltingly tender, this slow-cooked lamb shoulder falls apart under the fork with hardly a nudge. Falling off the bone is precisely how pulled meat became so trendy. “Nothing says ‘special occasion’ quite like lamb,” says Chef Anja. She adores the luxurious flavour combination. “The herbs add freshness, the citrus cuts through the fattiness and the pistachio adds crunch.”
What we love about it: Shoulder is a favourite cut in the Chalmar Farm Kitchen, as the fat content keeps it juicy during the long cooking time. To trim some of the cooking time, go for deboned lamb.
Preheat the oven to 260°C. (Yes, quite a high temperature, but you will be turning it down when you put the meat into the oven). Let the meat reach room temperature before cooking, about 1 hour.
Score the fat side, brush with oil and orange juice, then season generously with salt and pepper.
Place into a roasting tray, fat side up, place the garlic halves and oranges on the side. Add 100 ml water to the bottom of the tray. Cover with a double layer of foil. Now TURN DOWN the oven to 160°C, cook until the meat easily pulls from the bone, around 3 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the crust: place oil, pistachio nuts, orange zest, parsley and mint in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add crumbs and melted butter and mix together.
Remove the meat from the oven, pack the crust mixture in a thick layer on top of the meat. Don’t worry if some of the mixture falls into the pan – it will flavour the pan juices. Return to the oven and cook uncovered until the crust is golden brown and crisped up, about 30 minutes. If it browns too quickly lightly cover with foil.
Rest the meat for 20 minutes lightly covered in foil. Place on a meat platter with the garlic and oranges. Shred the lamb with forks in front of the guests.
Turn the pan juices into gravy while the meat rests: pour away most of the fat, take out the garlic and orange halves and put the pan directly onto the heat. Whisk in 15 – 30 ml plain flour, cook for 1 minute, add a few good glugs of red wine, bubble away for a minute and pour in 250 ml stock and simmer until thickened. Add Dijon mustard to taste and keep warm until ready to serve.
If you prefer a plainer roast, simply leave out the crumb crust and roast the meat uncovered for the last 30 minutes or so, until the fat has crisped up.
Enjoy the leftovers in pita bread. Delicious with a refreshing yogurt dressing and a simple grated carrot salad.