Cooking complicated is not really my thing, I’m a simple kinda gal… I like things done in under an hour with the mindset, the fewer ingredients the better. Cooking can be a lot of fun, but standing around watching water boil is definitely not my idea of a good time.
Jamie Oliver, for those of you who are not familiar, is an incredible British chef. But one thing that I love about Jamie is that he doesn’t try too hard or take himself too seriously. Cooking is all about having a good time, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends or family, not having to think too much and being able to laugh it off if your dish turns out to be a flop. A couple of weeks ago I woke up desperate for pancakes. I was practicing a gluten-free, dairy free, sugar-free diet at the time, where my options were far from endless and so healthy pancakes it would have to be… 30 minutes later, after rustling up every healthy item in my kitchen and mashing it all together with bananas, I proudly sat down to taste my newest recipe. Which sadly tasted like old baby food… I laughed it off and made a delicious, completely new batch, keeping it simple with fewer ingredients… But hey, it’s okay, we all have flops sometimes.
I’m always looking for new recipes for when people come over, if I want my friends to keep coming back then I constantly have to spice it up a little. Last time I hosted, I decided to make lamb, something I don’t do too often… With the help of a recipe from Jamie Oliver, http://www.jamieoliver.com, adapted to suit my ‘few ingredient mindset’, a ridiculously good tasting Persian style shoulder of lamb dish was born. This recipe does go against my 30 minute meal preference, but it’s good for those days when you have a few hours to let your meat cook. In the end, it’ll definitely be worth it.
Fortunately for me, although not for you, the lamb was gone so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to snap you an ‘after’ photo. Luckily, I think the ‘before’ says it all.
You will need
- 4 1/2 lb shoulder of lamb
- 3 red onions, quartered
- 5 cups diced potatoes
- 2 fennel bulb, cut into 6 wedges
- half a garlic bulb, cloves separated and lightly smashed
- 3 lemons, quartered
- 1 cup sour or regular cherries, pits removed
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 springs rosemary
- pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
- pomegranate seeds for garnish
- Preheat the oven on the highest temperature.
- Put the potatoes, onions, fennel and garlic into a large roasting pan with the lemons, cherries and saffron. Pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Toss everything together and then place the lamb on top.
- Season lamb with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil, half of the coriander, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Make a few slits in the lamb, stuff a few of the thyme and rosemary sprigs in the slits and put the remaining sprigs on top of the lamb.
- Pour 3/4 cup of boiling hot water into the bottom of the pan and cover the lamb with a large piece of aluminum foil.
- Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350F. Cook for 3 1/2- 4 hours until meat is falling off of the bone.
- About 30 minutes before the end of cooking, remove the foil, toss the vegetables, pour on the pomegranate molasses, and return to the oven uncovered. When the skin is crisp and meat is falling off the bone, it's ready to eat. Leave to rest 10 minutes.
- Place on a serving platter, sprinkle with pistachios and pomegranate seeds.