“Lamb shoulder is one of the best parts of the beast,” says Phil Wood, executive chef at Mornington Peninsula’s Laura. “Marinating it overnight in a salted herb purée just helps to highlight how good it is. After a slow roast the meat will be wonderfully tender and fork away from the bone; mix it with the juice in the bottom of the pan and top with a herb salad and you’ll definitely have a winner. The apple chutney really helps cut through the richness of the lamb.” Begin this recipe a day ahead to marinate the lamb.
2 heads of garlic
1½ tbsp cumin seeds
1 cup (firmly packed) mint
1 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
¼ cup (loosely packed) rosemary
100 ml olive oil
30 gm salt (or 1.5 per cent the weight of the lamb shoulder)
1 lamb shoulder (about 2kg), bone in
800 gm canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped
125 ml white wine
Mixed herbs, such as chervil and mint, to serve
8 Granny Smith apples
20 gm ginger (about 4cm)
2 large golden shallots, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp Korean chilli flakes (optional; see note)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
80 gm caster sugar
150 ml cider vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Wrap garlic tightly in foil and roast until soft (25-30 minutes). Meanwhile, dry-roast cumin until fragrant (20-40 seconds), then finely crush with a mortar and pestle. Squeeze garlic from skin into a food processor, add mint, parsley, rosemary, oil, salt and cumin and process to a paste.
2. Place the lamb shoulder in a non-reactive container, rub the paste all over lamb and refrigerate, turning occasionally, to marinate (overnight).
3. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place lamb in a roasting tray, add tomato and wine around and over lamb. Cover tightly with foil, place in oven, reduce oven to 170°C and roast until lamb easily falls away from the bone (4-4½ hours). Keep warm.
4. Meanwhile, for roast-apple chutney, roast apples on an oven tray until just starting to break down (25-30 minutes). Cool, then coarsely chop, discarding cores. Heat oil in a wide saucepan over mediumhigh heat, add ginger, shallot and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften (3-4 minutes). Add spices and cook until fragrant (2-3 minutes), then add sugar and stir occasionally until sugar starts to caramelise (2-4 minutes). Add vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened (2-4 minutes). Stir apple through to coat. Chutney will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks. It can be served hot or cold. Makes about 3 cups.
5.Remove bones from lamb, coarsely shred meat with two forks, spoon over pan juices and serve with mixed herbs, extra parsley and chutney.