Shoulder of lamb with sweet paprika and chickpeas

Shoulder of lamb with sweet paprika and chickpeas

By
From
How I cook
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Slow cooking is a lovely, heartwarming and satisfying way to cook. It allows time for flavours to develop and meld together and more often than not I find the end result exceeds my expectations. In essence, this is a one-pot meal. The only accompaniment you will need is a green vegetable, such as slow-cooked courgettes, or a lightly dressed salad of seasonal leaves.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 shoulder of lamb joint, about 1.5 kg
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
11/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
750ml dry white wine
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly crushed
small bunch thyme
1 dried red chilli
1 teaspoon sweet spanish paprika
2 red peppers
250g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes, or from a jar
250g cooked chickpeas (tinned ones can be used)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Trim the lamb of all fat and season generously all over with salt and pepper. Place a large, sturdy roasting tin on the hob over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When it is hot, add the lamb and brown well all over; this will take 10 minutes or so.
  2. Meanwhile, put the fennel seeds into a small frying pan over a high heat and warm for a minute, or until they begin to pop and release their aroma. Immediately take off the heat and pound, using a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
  3. Once the lamb is golden brown, remove it from the roasting tin and set aside. Turn the heat down slightly and deglaze the tin with the wine, stirring to scrape up the sediment. Allow the wine to bubble and reduce by about a third, then pour it off into a jug.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the roasting tin and warm over a low heat. Add the onions, garlic, crushed fennel seeds and thyme and cook gently for 10 minutes until the onions are softened and slightly caramelised. Crumble in the dried chilli, add the paprika and return the lamb to the roasting tin. Pour over the reduced wine and turn off the heat.
  5. Cover the roasting tin tightly with foil and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Allow the lamb to cook, undisturbed, for 2 hours.
  6. Meanwhile, halve and deseed the peppers, then cut each half into 8 pieces. Take the lamb out of the oven, uncover and scatter over the sliced peppers and the tomatoes. Re-cover and return to the oven for a further 1 hour.
  7. Now take out the roasting tin, uncover, and stir in the chickpeas. Turn the oven setting up to 200°C and cook for a final 15 minutes. Discard the thyme. Set aside to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  8. Before serving, tear the meat from the bones – it will come away easily – tongs are the easiest implement to use. Return the meat to the pan and taste for seasoning, adjusting as necessary. Reheat gently to warm through if necessary and serve.

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