Slow-cooked pomegranate lamb

  • 1 x 2-3 kg lamb shoulder, bone in, fat trimmed.
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved.
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout*.
  • 2 tablespoons oregano leaves.
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes.
  • 400 ml beef stock.
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, plus extra to serve.
  • salt and cracked black pepper.
  • currants, 40 g toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley or coriander, cooked couscous to serve.

* Ras el hanout is an aromatic North African spice mix. Here’s one recipe. There are many.

  • 1½ teaspoons ground black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Combine, makes about two tablespoons

Method: Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Put lamb, garlic, ras el hanout, oregano, tomatoes, stock, pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper in a baking dish and cover. I use the cast iron le Creuset.

Cover and bake for three hours, turning lamb after an hour and a half.

Uncover lamb and cook, meaty side up, for another thirty minutes.

Remove bone and transfer lamb to a serving dish. It will break up appetisingly.

Spoon over pan juices, drizzle with extra pomegranate molasses, and serve with couscous, currants, pine nuts and parsley/coriander.

Variations: fresh chopped dates can be substituted for the currants, and chopped pistachios for the toasted pine nuts.