Easter and lamb are like gin and tonic – they go together. This slow-cooked lamb recipe is the perfect dish for an Easter Sunday feast. It is made even more delicious by the addition of a smoked tomato sauce which combines our cold smoked tomatoes with roasted fresh tomatoes, spices and honey.
The beauty of this lamb dish is that you can prepare it ahead of time and forget about it for a few hours. It should come out of the oven falling-apart tender. We serve ours with sides of sautéed eggplant, butterbeans & fresh mint leaves; a roasted pepper, goat’s cheese & basil salad; and a big dish of roasted sweet potatoes to complete the meal.
For the lamb:
2.2kg approx. lamb shoulder roast
75g butter, softened
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tb dried oregano
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tsp fennel seeds
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
1 tub Bee Lane cold smoked tomatoes
6 small fresh tomatoes
3 slices day-old ciabatta bread
2-3 Tb extra virgin olive oil
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
pinch chilli flakes
finely grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
1 Tb honey
sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 175°C.
To make the sauce:
- Place the fresh tomatoes into a small oven proof dish and roast in the preheated oven until the skins split and the tomatoes are cooked – approx. 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a frying pan, add the bread slices and cook on each side until golden.
- Skin and core the cooked tomatoes, squeeze the excess juice and seeds out and discard.
- Place cooled tomatoes, Bee Lane cold smoked tomatoes (including oil), cooked bread, garlic, cinnamon, chilli flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, and honey into a food processor bowl.
- Process mixture until it is chopped and blended. Season to taste with sea salt.
- Serve with cooked lamb.
To cook the lamb:
- Trim the excess fat from the lamb with a small sharp knife.
- Mix cinnamon, oregano, garlic, fennel seed, and lemon zest into the softened butter.
- Turn the lamb skin side down, season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then smear over half the butter mixture.
- Tear four large sheets of baking paper and lay on the bench on top of each other; two horizontally, and two vertically.
- Turn the lamb over and place (buttered side down) onto the centre of the baking paper.
- Season the top with salt & black pepper and smear over the rest of the seasoned butter.
- Wrap the lamb in the baking paper and secure with cotton string.
- Place lamb parcel in an ovenproof baking dish and bake in preheated oven for 3 hours.
- Remove lamb from oven, and let sit briefly.
- Snip the string and tear or cut open the parcel (note: there will be quite a lot of juice so keep it in the baking dish for this bit).
- Transfer the lamb to a serving dish – it may fall apart which is how it should be – and serve with the Smoked & Roasted Tomato Sauce.
Serve with sautéed eggplant with butterbeans & fresh mint leaves; a roasted pepper, goat’s cheese & basil salad and roasted sweet potatoes or your own choice of sides.
Gluten-Free alternative: substitute with gluten-free bread of your choice.
- The lamb can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator – allow a little extra cooking time if cooked straight from the ‘fridge.
- The tomato sauce can be prepared a little ahead of time but tastes nicer freshly made. It will, however, keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.