← Back to Search Results
braising, slow cooking Middle Eastern
Warm Shredded Lamb Salad with Mint and Pomegranate

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

The virtue of this is that you can cook the lamb overnight, which means all you need to do is shred the meat, dress it and make the salads at lunchtime itself. Or put it in the oven at a slightly higher temperature, but still unfrenetically low, in the morning and fiddle about as people arrive. You do need to serve the lamb salad warm rather than cold (a bit of fat provides flavorsome lubrication at anything above room temperature; once cold we’re talking congealed, waxy whiteness—not such an attractive proposition), but if you keep the lamb tented with foil once it’s out of the oven—should you need to hold it for longer than an hour or two—that shouldn’t pose problems.

If it’s not the pomegranate season you have a choice: either use pomegranate molasses (a tablespoonful or so, diluted with an equal amount of water), which you can get at some supermarkets now, or just use lemon juice and maybe even a little very finely grated zest.

Yield: Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients

  • 1 shoulder of lamb (approx. 5½ pounds)
  • 4 shallots, halved but not peeled
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot, peeled and halved
  • Maldon or other sea salt
  • 2¼ cups boiling water
  • small handful freshly chopped mint
  • 1 pomegranate

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250°F.

On the stovetop, brown the lamb, fat-side down, in a large roasting pan. Remove when nicely browned across its middle (you won’t get much more than this) and set aside while you fry the vegetables briefly. Just tip them into the pan—you won’t need to add any more fat—and cook them, sprinkled with the salt, gently for a couple of minutes. Pour the water over and then replace the lamb, this time fat-side up. Let the liquid in the pan come to a boil, then tent with foil and put in the preheated oven.

Now just leave it there while you sleep. I find that if I put the lamb in before I go to bed, it’s perfect by lunchtime the next day. But the point is, at this temperature, nothing’s going to go wrong with the lamb if you cook it for a little less or a little more.

If you want to cook the lamb the day you’re going to eat it, heat the oven to 325°F and give it 5 hours or so. The point is to find a way of cooking that suits you: you know what sort of pottering relaxes you and what makes you feel constrained; how much time you’ve got, and how you want to use it. Don’t let the food, the kitchen or the imagined expectations of other people bully you.

With that homily over, about an hour before you want to eat, remove the lamb from the pan to a large plate or carving board—not that it needs carving; the deal here is that it’s unfashionably overcooked, falling to tender shreds at the touch of a fork. This is the best way to deal with shoulder of lamb: it’s cheaper than leg, and the flavor is deeper, better, truer, but even good carvers, which I most definitely am not, can get unstuck trying to slice it.

I get on with the peppers while the lamb’s sitting meekly, but you could equally have done this earlier, too (and see the following recipe for instructions). But to finish the lamb salad, simply pull it to pieces with a couple of forks on a large plate. Sprinkle with more sea salt and some freshly chopped mint, then cut the pomegranate in half and dot with the seeds from one of the halves. This is easily done; there’s a simple trick, which means you never have to think of winkling out the jeweled pips with a safety pin ever again. Simply hold the pomegranate half above the plate, take a wooden spoon and start bashing the curved skin side with it. Nothing will happen for a few seconds, but have faith. In a short while the glassy red, juicy beads will start raining down.

Take the other half and squeeze the preposterously pink juices over the warm shredded meat. Take to the table and serve.

What I do with the leftovers is warm a pita bread in the microwave, and then spread it with a greedy dollop of hummus, then take the chill off the refrigerated lamb in the microwave (and see earlier notes on cold fat) and stuff the already gooey pita with it. Add freshly chopped mint, black pepper and whatever else you like; raw, finely chopped red onion goes dangerously well.


© 2002 Nigella Lawson
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 8 servings and 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.

858kcal (43%)
546mg (23%)
11g
2g
66g (101%)
0g
29g (143%)
27g
5g
221mg (74%)
5g
54g
75mg
913mg
74mcg RAE (2%)
6mg (10%)
63mg (6%)
5mg (29%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

cooking-for-friends Cooking for Friends
by Gordon Ramsay
cooking-with-too-hot-tamales Cooking with Too Hot Tamales
by Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger
raos-cookbook Rao's Cookbook
by Frank Pellegrino
le-bernardin-cookbook Le Bernardin Cookbook
by Eric Ripert, Maguy Le Coze
fruits-of-the-harvest-recipes-to-celebrate-kwanzaa-and-other-holidays Fruits of the Harvest: Reci...
by Eric V. Copage
a-new-way-to-cook A New Way to Cook
by Sally Schneider
parents-need-to-eat-too Parents Need to Eat Too
by Debbie Koenig
big-fat-cookies Big Fat Cookies
by Elinor Klivans
young-and-hungry-more-than-100-recipes-for-cooking-fresh-and-affordable-food-for-everyone Young and Hungry: More Than...
by Dave Lieberman
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
arthur-schwartzs-new-york-city-food Arthur Schwartz's New York ...
by Arthur Schwartz
mexican-everyday Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless
Already a member? Sign in here
Close_overlay

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
Spinner
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Close_overlay

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?