Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Labneh & Zaatar
FEATURING MONJAY MEZZA’S LABNEH & ZAATAR DIP
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COOK TIME: 3 hours 40 minutes + 20 minutes prep
One pan, minimal prep, minimal dishes, maximum flavour. That’s the ultimate meal, and this slow cooked lamb shoulder fits the bill. Massaged with herbs and garlic, plonked on a bed of vegetables and slow cooked. That’s it.
The key to dishes like this is the combination of high heat and low heat. First, we blast the lamb with a really hot oven – 240 degrees Celsius or as hot as you can make it. This helps to evaporate some of the moisture and brown the top of the lamb, along with its herby, garlicky marinade. It’s called the Maillard reaction, and it involves recombining sugars and proteins into delicious, mouth-watering flavours.
After that initial blast of 20 or so minutes, the heat is turned down and all that connective tissue found in lamb shoulder meat is allowed to soften and go oozy over a number of hours, leaving it tender and moist.
A final blast of high heat browns and crisps the veggies that have been slowly stewing in lamb juices, wine and stock. All of this in one pan. Miraculous.
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- Olive oil
- 1.5 kg lamb shoulder
- 3 large potatoes
- 2 red capsicum
- 1 green capsicum
- ¼ cup of white wine
- ¼ of chicken stock
- Monjay’s Labneh with Zaatar Dip
- 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
Start by preparing the lamb marinade.
Peel the garlic and crush in a mortar and pestle with a little coarse salt. Pull the rosemary leaves off the stalks and pound them with the garlic. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and mix it all together.
Using a small, sharp knife, create little incisions all over the top of the shoulder and massage the marinade all over, pressing it into the cuts and generally giving it a good massage. Season generously with salt and put to one side.
Preheat the oven to 240 degrees Celsius.
Clean the potatoes but don’t peel them. Cut them into long wedges. Cut the capsicums into thickish strips.
Place all the vegetables into an oven proof tray. Heat the wine and stock in a small saucepan until simmering and pour over the vegetables.
Sit the lamb on top of the vegetables and place in the middle of the oven. Roast for twenty minutes, then take it out, cover with foil, turn the oven down to 140 degrees Celsius and put the tray back in for 3 hours.
Remove from the oven and set the lamb aside, covered, to rest. Turn the oven up to 220 degrees Celsius and put the tray with the vegetables back in for 15 or 20 minutes until crispy on top.
Using a couple of forks, tear the lamb apart and arrange on a serving plate. Top with dollops of our labneh and zataar dip, and serve alongside the vegetables.
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