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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Food diary: Moroccan slow roasted shoulder of lamb with pomegranate dressing

Picture of the lamb taken by my sis seconds before we devoured it all! 

One of my passions in life is cooking (and of course eating!) delicious food. Soon after graduating from university I did a month-long cookery course at the wonderful Leith's School of Food and Wine in London. I couldn't cook very well before I started the course to say the least. At uni the first time I tried cooking for myself I baked the hell out of a chicken breast by leaving it in the oven for 45 mins, yuk! Some of my close uni friends took cookery courses in their gap years and had gone on to work as chalet cooks in the Alps whilst doing a ski season. They really enjoyed cooking and were pretty good at it and this inspired me to want to learn. 



Cookery school turned out to be so much fun and a really happy time for me. Since then I have often day-dreamed about becoming a chef but I think what's always held me back is that I simply enjoy creating meals at home and want to indulge my passion in private, not as a job. Somehow I just can't seem to get excited by the idea of working all hours, in a hot sweaty kitchen and getting screamed at by a head chef with an over inflated ego. 

Anyway!  Back to the lamb...


CJ proposed to me in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco so the country has a special place in our hearts and we also love the food from this region. Last year before our wedding we visited friends in Hampshire and they served a version of this lamb dish - it was so incredible I've been dreaming about it ever since.


Finally I got my chance last week when CJ and I had my family over for a lovely dinner at our flat; my mum, dad, sister and her boyfriend. It's a rare treat to get us all together at the same time these days so I wanted to make it a really special evening. We used some of our wedding presents for the first time (glassware, china etc) and the table looked beautiful (if I do say so myself!). 


All you need to do is follow the cooking instructions for Jamie's Incredible Roasted Shoulder of Lamb but make a Moroccan marinade instead of his rosemary and garlic one, and swap his dressing for the one below. 


This was so ridiculously easy to make as the whole thing just cooks itself, you hardly have to do anything! I served the lamb with baked carrots and kale on the side but you can choose any veg you like as a side dish. Enjoy! 

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Marinade for the lamb:
  • 2 tsp each of of sweet paprika, ground cumin and ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp of Ras-el-Hanout (I use the Seasoned Pioneers one with little dried rose petals)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 fat garlic cloves crushed to a pulp
Dressing:
  • 100ml good quality virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Slash the lamb skin as per Jamie’s recipe and then rub all over both sides with the marinade. Leave the lamb to sit for 1 hour in a roasting tin tightly covered in foil and then cook as per Jamie's recipe. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing all over the lamb then sprinkle mint leaves and pomegranate seeds all over.  They look like little jewels and really give the dish a 'wow' factor. 

Good luck!

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