Warm Salad of Middle Eastern Pulled Lamb & Chickpeas with Raspberries
This wonderfully substantial warm salad has a sweet and sharp raspberry dressing that brings it to life. Although it takes a long time to get the lamb meltingly tender it is almost entirely hands off - a great dish to get started in the oven before you go for a weekend walk.
For the lamb:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 1tbsp cumin seeds, roughly ground
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1tsp grounded cinnamon
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2kg bone-in lamb shoulder
- 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained & rinsed
- 235g salad spinach, washed & well drained
- 225g punnet raspberries
- 150g pecans
For the dressing
- 225g punnet raspberries
- 100ml water
- 3tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil with the garlic, cumin, thyme, cinnamon and smoked paprika and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using a sharp knife, pierce 1 centimeter deep holes all over the lamb - this will help the spice flavour to get deep inside the meat.
- Rub the marinade all over the lamb, pushing inside the holes you have made. Place the lamb in a large baking tray, cover with cling film and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC/130ºC fan/gas 2. Remove and discard the cling film and pour 200ml cold water into the roasting tin. Cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven for 5 hours - it won’t need checking or turning so it’s fine to leave it undisturbed.
- After the lamb has had its 5 hours cooking, remove from the oven and discard the foil. Increase the oven temperature to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4. Using a large metal spoon, spoon off and discard as much fat as possible - providing you don’t stir the sauce it will be floating on top. Stir the chickpeas through the remaining juices, and return to the oven, uncovered, for a further hour.
- Whilst the lamb is in the oven for the final hour, make the dressing by placing all the ingredients into a small saucepan. Set over a medium high heat and bring up to the boil. Boil steadily for about 5 minutes until the raspberries have broken right down and you are left with a shiny, deep coloured sauce. Taste to check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired and a little more honey if it is too sharp. Strain through a sieve to remove the pips and set aside to cool.
- Toast the pecans in a dry frying pan until they are deep golden brown and smell lovely and nutty. Tip onto a board and roughly chop. Set aside.
- After the final hour in the oven, take the lamb out and transfer to a large plate or board. Using 2 forks, flake the meat into bite sized pieces.
- To serve, divide the spinach leaves between individual plates and scatter over the raspberries and pecans. Spoon the shredded lamb and some chickpeas over the top and drizzle on a little dressing. Serve the rest of the dressing alongside in a small jug.