Eating your fruit and vegetables when in season ensures optimal nutritional value and flavour. Some confusing weather of late left me with a fridge full of spring vegetables and half a foot of snow on the ground, and inspired me to come up with this recipe. A slow-cooked ‘melt in your mouth’ lamb, layered over a healthy spring Israeli couscous salad. Couscous is often mistaken as a grain, but is actually crushed semolina or wheat flour mixed with water – essentially making it a form of pasta. Enjoy this season-transcending dish!
1 leg of lamb
2 cloves garlic, each sliced into 5-6 slices
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
2-2 1/2 cups of beef or vege stock
2 cups washed baby spinach or mixed baby salad greens
2 good handfuls rocket
2 beetroot roasted for 30 minutes, peeled and chopped (optional)
1 good handful chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
190g feta cheese, crumbled
1 handful chopped fresh mint
1 pomegranate, deseeded (optional)
Good handful toasted pine nuts
Simple salad dressing
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard:
Preheat oven to 140 degrees.
2.Pierce your lamb evenly around with a thin sharp knife and stuff the sliced garlic. Thoroughly salt and pepper the lamb then brown, skin side down in a large pan on a medium high heat for 3-4 minutes.
3.Once the skin is browned, pop into a roasting pan skin side up and pour the wine and stock in. I often add in some rosemary stalks under the lamb at this point.
4.Cover tightly with tinfoil ensuring no steam can escape. Cook for 3.5 to 4 hours.
5.Remove from the pan, place on warmed platter and wrap in the foil that has been covering it. Let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes.
6.If you would like to make a sauce for the lamb, tip off as much oil as you can from the pan without losing the amazing juices. To remove more oil, lay some paper towels over top to soak it up, then discard.
7.Tip into pot (sieve if you want it smooth), boil and reduce. If you want to thicken it more, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornflour and 1 1/2 teaspoons water in a cup then pour, stirring constantly into the boiling sauce.
8.Meanwhile, an hour before the lamb is ready, take a pot and pop in some olive oil and heat to medium high heat. Tip in your couscous, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until a little brown.
9.Pour in 2 cups of stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook couscous in stock for 8-10 minutes until tender and the water is absorbed. Ensure you do not overcook. Set aside and let it cool.
10.Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl except feta, pinenuts, mint and pomegranate. Add cooked couscous, then combine dressing ingredients well and pour over.
11.Shred the meat off the bone and put on top of salad. If you’ve made sauce, drizzle some over it, then garnish with pomegranate, pine nuts, feta and mint.