Recipe: Lamb shoulder and lentil salad

By Grant Allen

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Lamb puy lentil salad. Photo / Doug Sherring HOS
Lamb puy lentil salad. Photo / Doug Sherring HOS

Serves 6 comfortably

The lamb shoulder

• 2kg boned lamb shoulder
• 1 carrot
• 1 onion
• 2 stick celery
• 1 bulb garlic
• 1 cup water
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Peel the carrot, onion and garlic. Roughly chop along with the celery.

2. Put all the vegetables in a large oven dish and then place the lamb shoulder on top. This is a trivet and keeps the meat off the bottom of the roasting dish. Season the meat, rubbing the salt and pepper all over the shoulder. Add the water and cover with tin foil, making sure it has a tight seal.

3. Cook at 160C for four hours. When it is done the meat will simply fall apart. If not at this stage, re-seal, put back in the oven and continue cooking.

4. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, shred (I use latex gloves, as the hotter the meat the easier it is to shred).

Set the meat aside while the lentils are cooking.

5. Strain the vegetables into a bowl and reserve the liquid, discard the vegetables. Leave the liquid to settle. Once settled a layer of fat will rise to the top, using a ladle carefully skim this off and discard.

The lentil salad

• 250g Puy lentils.
• 1 onion
• 2 clove garlic
• 1 carrot
• 2 bay leaves
• 100ml good quality olive oil
• 5 spring onions
• 0.5 litre lamb stock
• small handful tarragon
• small handful mint
• small handful parsley
• ½ -1 tablespoon flakey salt
• Pepper to taste

1. Peel and finely dice the onion, garlic and carrot, keeping everything separate.

2. Put 50ml of oil into a heavy based pot at a medium heat and sweat the onion without colour for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the carrot and garlic and continue cooking for another 10 minutes until also softened. Add the lentils and cook for 2 minutes. Add the lamb stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes, you may have to add a little water if the mix is getting too dry. Check to see if the lentils are cooked; they need to be soft at this point. If not, continue cooking (some lentils take a long time, best to keep an eye on them).Remove the bay leaves.

3. Season the lentils with the salt and pepper. To finish, finely chop all the herbs and finely slice the spring onions, and add to the lentils. It will seem like a lot but that's what makes them so good. Pour over the rest of the olive oil, check seasoning.

4. Fold through the reserved shredded lamb meat and arrange on a large platter.

Serve with a bowl of strained Greek yoghurt, crunchy vegetables such as broccolini, and the lamb shoulder juices in a jug.

- Herald on Sunday

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