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Slow-cooked lamb with pomegranates & honey

DianaHenry_Simple_Day4_332Easy, but rich and exotic, a real feast for a long lazy weekend lunch or dinner. The lamb should be very soft, almost falling apart, but cooking time varies depending on the time of year, so start checking it after four hours.

Serves 6

For the lamb 2kg (4lb 8oz) bone-in shoulder of lamb
9 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
sea salt flakes and pepper
leaves from a small bunch of mint, torn
4½ tbsp pomegranate molasses
4½ tbsp runny honey
4 tbsp olive oil
juice from 4 lemons

To serve

1 pomegranate, or 225g (8oz) pomegranate seeds
leaves from a small bunch of mint, torn
4 garlic cloves, crushed 400g (14oz) Greek yogurt
flatbreads or couscous
salad of watercress or spinach, coarse stalks removed

Pierce the lamb all over deeply. Crush the garlic to a paste with salt – it acts as an abrasive – in a mortar. Add the other ingredients for the lamb, starting with the mint, and pound some more.

Put the meat on two huge pieces of foil set at right angles in a roasting tin and pull up the sides so none of the marinade will run out. Pour on the marinade, turning the lamb. Cover and put in the fridge for about 12 hours.

Return the meat to room temperature and preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Pull the foil over the lamb and seal to form a tent. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Cook for four to five hours, basting with the juices every so often. The lamb is cooked when you can pull the meat apart with a fork. (Cooking times vary a lot depending on the age of the meat you are using, so start checking after four hours.)

Mix the pomegranate seeds with the mint, then add the garlic to the yogurt. Shred the lamb at the table and serve with the yogurt, pomegranate and mint, plus flatbreads or couscous and a salad of watercress and spinach (a green salad tossed with walnuts or hazelnuts would be great).

SIMPLE Simple by Diana Henry is avaiable here