Probably a bit grand to call this ‘Middle Eastern Roast Lamb Platter’ but hey ho. I’ve written about my love of middle eastern food here, where I shared my fond memories of London Life and here, where I whizzed up left over veggies for a quick healthy dip so I won’t bore you with more of that. Except to say I found an utterly scrummy Lebanese restaurant in Manchester called Cafe Istanbul recently. I had the most delicious meal with friends – silky smooth hummus; juicy olives; crispy filo parcels of cheese and spinach, lamb koftas and lots of red wine. Perfect. Except we had rather too much red wine and thus failed to identify the correct train station for the journey home. We ended up piling into a taxi in fits of giggles to rush to the other side of town. Only to get on a train that passed by the station to which we’d already walked half an hour previously. Oops. And hilarious.
Great to eat out a bit differently though. Where I live we have GREAT pubs – proper English cooking, with excellent meat and vast portions. Lots of them also have nice walks nearby – so I can often live out my blog name on Sundays, which makes me very happy indeed. We’re also well served with tapas bars and Indians. But not so much else – so I make a beeline for Turkish and Japanese when I’m out and about in a Big City.
Here I cooked lamb for ages until it was juicy and soft, and matched it with a cooling yogurt, left over naan bread (think I went a bit too far east there for strict authenticity) and some fried aubergine. I just love eating like this – little bits and pieces, where you can pick at different morsels of loveliness. I went heavy on the garlic as I love it (and was eating alone) but you could obviously use less if you don’t want to be sucking mints for the whole of the following day.
Middle Eastern Roast Lamb Platter
a 1.5 shoulder of lamb, bone in
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
tzatziki, fried aubergines and flatbread, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees
2. With a sharp knife, make incisions into the meat and stuff with the sliced garlic
3. Drizzle over some olive oil (not too much, as the lamb will be quite fatty)
4. Cover with 2 layers of foil and cook for 4 hours (but it’ll be ok for up to 6 hours)
5. When it’s done, just chop it into pieces, or pull it to bits with a fork. It should be meltingly tender and slide straight off the bone.
6. Serve with tzatziki, fried aubergines and flatbread.