Slow cooked lamb with preserved lemons

Lamb & preserved lemon

Preserved lemons in a marinade taste wonderful on vegetables and meat alike.

You can buy them in a specialty food section of a supermarket, Middle Eastern / Turkish grocers or you can make your own.

Recipe here for preserved lemons Preserved Lemons

I am near the end of a jar I made over a year ago they are wonderful in salads and on vegetables as well. The flavour also matures and changes over time.

Mine initially tangy and fresh have a deeper, sweeter and mellower flavour now. This lamb is really easy to prepare, aromatic and flavourful. Due to the long cooking and basting, the lemony flavours really infuse the meat. As the meat is very rich and pungent serve it with some simple sides such as flat breads, yoghurt salad, tomato salad and couscous.

Serves 6 people


3-4 kilo lamb shoulder
2 preserved lemons
1 whole bulb of garlic peeled and chopped in half
1 handful of prunes
2 large onions
3 carrots
4 cardamom pods – crushed, seeds removed and pod discarded
1 heaped tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp all spice berries ground
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 small bunch / handful of coriander
75g butter
150ml water
Grease proof paper
1 tsp of ground all spice berries


Blitz the preserved lemon, 1 onion, the garlic, the spices and a handful of coriander roughly chopped in a food processor. Add the melted butter to the mixture and season with salt and pepper.

Make some incisions in the middle to infuse the meat and cover it in the mixture. Leave it to marinate overnight in the fridge

Preheat the oven to 230°C for 20 minutes and then turn it down to 130°C to slowly cook the meat.

Place the meat in a big pot with a tight fitting lid. Once the meat is in, add the water, roughly chopped onion, 2 carrots and the prunes. Give it all a bit of a stir and put a layer of grease proof paper around the meat carefully tucking it round. Then a layer of tin foil over the top of the pot and then the lid.

Cook in the oven for 6/7 hours. Check on it every few hours and baste the meat with the juices. If you feel the juices are running low add more water. By this point the meat should be falling off the bone.

At the end of the cooking, to brown the meat turn up the oven to 200°C for 10-15 minutes.

Finally put the pot on the hob on a medium heat and baste again with the juices. Remove the meat from the juices. The meat juices are very fatty and delicious but probably a bit oily for some people. I would serve them separately. in a jug.

Eat with couscous, flatbreads, a fresh simple salad and a cucumber and yoghurt raita

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