Spring is a bit of a cures. It certainly is a bane if you happen to be a lamb. Easter, that very Christian celebration loomed very early this year and the vast bulk of the youthful sheep population trembled in fear. They were in fear because every God-fearing family in Christendom must have a leg of lamb on the table on Easter Sunday. The little darlings went to meet their maker leaving the butchers of Christendom scratching their heads, wondering how they were going to offload the rest of the beast. Easter is now a distant memory but the butchers of Ireland still have to do something with the spring lambs that have been arriving as nature intended, even if that’s too late for a very early Easter celebration. Their arrival made even later by a very late start to spring weather.
Regular readers know that I have cooked leg of lamb every which way. I probably have shown you more ways to prepare a lamb shoulder than God might have intended. But, given the opportunity to get my hands on a couple of spring lamb shoulders, I couldn’t resist just one more option. So I give you Spiced Shoulder of Spring Lamb with Flatbreads.
This is not a subtle dish. But, given that I have probably insulted every practicing Christian this side of Jerusalem, there is no need of be understated in our flavours.
Side note on olive oil: A good friend of mine distributes the lovely Bella D’Olivia oil in the United States. I am undoubtedly the only person in Europe with this lovely subtle oil. Given the huge range of flavours, I probably could have used a lower quality oil but, the picture would not have looked so good, would it?
The ingredients list is everything in the shot above and two lamb shoulders.2 spring lamb shoulders
- 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons of turmeric
- 2 teaspoons of mixed peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons of cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
- Juice of a lemon
- Olive oil to combine
Slice the shoulders through the fat and any membrane without cutting too deeply into the flesh. Toast the caraway seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry pan. Tossing them as they release wonderful aromas heavenwards.
Grind the toasted ones in a mortar and add them to the other spice ingredients in a bowl. Add enough olive oil to make a nice thick paste.
Rub the shoulders with the spice mix.
The shoulders take on a heavenly glow. Wrap them in tinfoil having added a quarter litre of water first.
Fold the tinfoil to form a tent and place the shoulders in the oven at 140ºC. They can be left there for three hours or so. Remove them from the oven and carefully reserve the delicious sauce that has miraculously gathered in the foil.
Add the sauce to a pot and reduce it by half. This will give a really delicious gravy.
Make flatbreads to a better recipe than mine. I need some divine intervention in my recipe making. My unleavened bread looked pretty good but was a little too doughy for my tastes. The Wife and Eldest Daughter disagreed with my view on the bread but, I’m not confident of the recipe until I try it again.
Slice the lamb and serve it with the bread and a nice salad. It really is an uplifting experience. Heavenly almost. Those poor little lambs…..