Rolled lamb shoulder with a pistachio-cherry stuffing and port sauce

A succulent roast with rich flavours. We also give you ingredient options, so you can make swaps when on a budget.

More than 3 hours

Serves 6 

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Recipe supplied by Lamb & Mutton SA.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, quartered and seeded
  • 2 tsp (10ml) ground cinnamon
  • ½ Tbsp (7ml) salt
  • Milled pepper
  • 2 Tbsp (30m) olive oil
  • 1.5kg lamb shoulder, deboned with bones reserved for cooking
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) gelatin powder (optional)
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 2 cups (500ml) cherry or cranberry juice 
  • 2 cups (500ml) boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) pomegranate molasses (optional) 

Stuffing: 

  •  cup (80ml) couscous
  • ½ cup (125ml) hot vegetable stock
  •  cup (80ml) shelled pistachios, chopped (almonds work well too)
  •  cup (80ml) fresh cherries (sour cherries are best), stones removed and roughly chopped
  •  cup (100ml) hot vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup (60ml) mint, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • Juice (80ml) and grated peel of 1 orange
  • Port sauce, for serving (see below) 
  • Yogurt, pomegranate seeds and mint, for serving 

Method

To make the marinade

  1. Place lemon, cinnamon, seasoning and oil in the blender.  
  2. Blend until smooth and pour into a large zip seal bag (or use a bowl if you prefer). 
  3. Score the outer layer of lamb skin and fat in a criss-cross pattern, careful not to pierce meat as it will dry out. 
  4. Place lamb in bag with the marinade, seal tightly and shake the bag around, covering shoulder in marinade. (If using a bowl, toss to coat and cover with clingfilm.) 
  5. Refrigerate and marinate for 24-48 hours.  
  6. Remove lamb from the fridge 1 hour before cooking, to come up to room temperature for even cooking.  

To make the stuffing

  1. Prepare stuffing by placing couscous in a bowl with stock. Set aside for 5-10 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.  
  2. Fluff up couscous with a fork.  
  3. Stir remaining stuffing ingredients and toss well.  

 

To cook the lamb

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C and position rack in bottom half of oven. 
  2. Remove the meat from the marinade.  
  3. Place meat on a chopping board, scored side down.  
  4. Sprinkle gelatin, if using, over the top meaty side. 
  5. Spread stuffing evenly onto lamb, on top of gelatine, careful to not overfill.  
  6. Roll up and secure with butcher’s twine. 
  7. Spread remaining marinade over the rolled-up lamb. Season.  
  8. Place onions and reserved lamb bones (optional, if you have them at hand) in a large oven roasting pan, and fit a roasting wire rack inside.  
  9. Place lamb on top of rack and add boiling water and cherry juice to the pan.  
  10. Cover meat with foil and roast for 2 hours.  
  11. Remove foil and pour pan juices into a large saucepan, along with pomegranate molasses, if using. 
  12. Cover meat again and roast for another 30 minutes.  
  13. Boil the meaty cooking liquid over high heat until reduced, thick, and syrupy, about 15-20 minutes.  
  14. Pour the thick cherry glaze over the lamb.
  15. Roast uncovered for a final 10 minutes, until the glaze is bubbling and starting to char, and the lamb is tender.  
  16. Remove the lamb from the oven and place on serving platter. Rest covered for 15 minutes. 
  17. Serve with port sauce (see below) and yogurt, pomegranate seeds and mint leaves on the side.  

 

Port sauce 

This recipes pairs perfectly with rich sauce, which is made in the pan you roasted your lamb in. 

Combine ½ cup (125ml) of each red wine and port into the roasting pan – there should be about ½ to 1 cup pan juices in which the lamb was cooked. Place over medium heat, and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 cup (250ml) hot chicken stock, and ½ tsp (3m) salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring until liquid has reduced to 1 ½ cups, about 10-12 minutes. Skim the fat off the surface if required. Strain the sauce into a gravy boat and serve hot with the sliced lamb.  

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