Adapted from Diana Henry’s recipe

In all honesty, I don’t really like eating lamb and I’m wondering if has more to do with the lamb associations rather than the taste of lamb itself?

Jews and lambs; between the pascal lamb, and lambs to the slaughter, every time I cook lamb I seem to have an existential crisis. That said my family really enjoys lamb and I feel like a bit of a controlling shrew when I withhold it, but quite frankly even the smell of cooking lamb has me feeling defensive! In reading Diana Henry’s recipes I came across one that required minimum handling and interference on my part and delivered maximum flavor to my family. 

On occasion, so I don’t seem peevish or selfish I make this lamb recipe, which does require forethought and time, but close to no energy and I do then expect major adulation for my sacrifice – of the lamb variety. 

You will need to start this recipe a day before you plan on serving it. The lamb needs to marinate for twelve hours but not more than 24 and you will need to cook it for 4-5 hours. On the plus side, it requires minimum intervention from you.

  • 3kgs bone-in shoulder of lamb (or two 1.5 kgs bone-in shoulders of lamb)
  • 12 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Sea-salt flakes
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) pomegranate molasses
  • 150 ml (2/3 cup) honey
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 5 lemons)

To serve:

  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Leaves from a small bunch of mint, torn
  • Flatbread or cooked couscous

1. Prepare a super large resealable plastic bag, alternatively a large roasting tin.

2. In a mortar or in a mini food processor, crush the garlic to a paste with the salt.

3. Add the garlic along with the pomegranate molasses, honey, olive oil and lemon juice to the plastic bag or tin, mix well, place the lamb inside coating it in the marinade, seal well, put in the fridge for 12 hours, up to 24. Occasionally give it a mix to make sure the marinade is doing its job.

4. Return the lamb to room temperature and heat the oven to 200°C/400˚F.

5. Place the lamb in a roasting tin along with all the marinade. Cover very tightly with foil. Place in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 160°C/325˚F. 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.

6. Shred the lamb at the table and serve with pomegranate and mint, plus flatbread or couscous and a salad.