Claudia Roden's Slow Roast Stuffed Lamb Shoulder with Apricot

Serves 8 - 10
Ingredients

● 2 shoulders of lamb – approx 1.6kg each
● Salt and black pepper

For the sauce
● 500g dried unsweetened apricots
● Juice of 1 lemon (optional)

For the rice stuffing
● 1 large onion, chopped
● 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
● 250g minced beef
● Salt and black pepper
● 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
● ½ teaspoon ground allspice
● ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
● ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
● 500g long-grain or basmati rice, washed and drained
● 1 litre lamb or chicken stock (use 2 stock cubes)
● 100g pine nuts, lightly toasted

Method

● In Egypt the rice would be stuffed into a pocket cut in the lamb. This method is simpler. Put the joints, skin side up, in a baking dish, rub with salt and pepper, and roast in a 240°C oven for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 180°C and cook for 3 hours until the skin is crisp and brown and the meat meltingly tender. Pour off the fat after about 2 hours.
● For the sauce: put the apricots in a pan, cover with water, and simmer for 20 minutes until the apricots are very soft and the liquid reduced. Add water if it starts to get too dry.
● Drain most of the liquid into a bowl before blending to a cream and add it back gradually, with the lemon juice (to taste) to achieve a pourable consistency.
● For the stuffing: fry the onion in the oil in a large pan until soft and golden. Add the minced beef and cook, turning over and crushing it with a fork until it changes colour. Season. Stir well then stir in the rice. Pour in the boiling stock, mix well, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes until the rice is tender. Stir in the pine nuts and reheat when ready to serve.
● Serve the meat in slices, with the juices and the apricot sauce and the stuffing on the side.

Last updated: 10:43am, March 31 2011