Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Slow roasted lamb & chilli fetta carrots

With the cooler weather (finally) hitting Perth, Mr Alphie has started requesting a Sunday roast. We've had roast chook (WA raised free range, of course) a couple of times now, and after the most recent request for a chicken roast, I realised that the alternative had to be pretty tempting to draw Mr Alphie from the roast chook obsession he was clearly about to fall in to. I had a quick ponder back to previous winters, and other roasts cooked, and remembered stumbling upon a fantastic lamb recipe last winter.

In the low calorie obsession of the last 12 months, I bought a number of cookbooks I would not have otherwise. On reflection, most of the books are are quite weird  but one that has had more than it's fair share of gems, is Jane Kennedy's OMG! I Can Eat That?. It still has some weird stuff in it, and I think she takes the low-carb thing a bit far sometimes, but the slow roast lamb recipe is definitely a winner. Beautifully soft, pull apart lamb shoulder, drizzled with a garlicky, lemony 'gravy'.... mmmm, oh, and the smell wafting through the house as it cooks... Perfection.

Another recent realisation I have had, is that just because we're having a roast, doesn't mean we have to have the full suite of traditional roast veges (potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrot, parsnip, etc), with an obligatory serve of green veg on the side (peas, beans or broccoli). Don't get me wrong, I adore roast veges, and have been known to just have roast veges for dinner, but I'm starting to fall for carefully crafted 'side dishes' to star along side the roast, rather than as uninspired support acts.

A recent favourite  thanks to a continuing excess of carrots that arrive in our fruit & vege delivery, is also found in OMG! I Can Eat That? Chilli feta carrots. So divine, and it's possible I love these more than regular roasted carrots, which I previously thought of as the best part of a roast. I have a continuing love affair with Brussels sprouts/cabbage and bacon, and of course, a roast is not a roast, without some form of roasted potato to accompany it - soft & fluffy in their jackets is my preference.

Slow Roast Lamb
slightly modified from Jane Kennedy's OMG! I Can Eat That? pg 105
Serves 4-6
  • approx 1kg boned lamb shoulder
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 head garlic, broken up, but not peeled
  • 2-3 stems rosemary
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 220°C.

In a roasting pan, place the lemon wedges in the centre, ad surround with the garlic cloves. What you're trying to do here is create a 'trivet' for the lamb to rest on. Depending on the size of your lamb shoulder you may need another lemon, or some more garlic. Place the rosemary on top, followed by the lamb. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper, and rub it all in.

Add the stock to the pan (Jane recommends you do this at the end to make the 'gravy', but I had too many experiences of the lemons & garlic burning on to the pan & engulfing the kitchen in acrid smoke), and cover tightly with foil. Chuck it in your hot oven, and immediately reduce the heat to 160°C.

Leave it for 4 hours. Yes, 4 hours. I promise you, it'll be worth it.

After the 4 hours are up, take the foil off & increase the oven to 220°C. Leave for another 20 minutes, just to get some crispy bits going.

Remove from the oven, set the lamb aside on the serving plate & cover with foil. Fish the lemon bits & rosemary out of the pan, and squeeze all that delicious slow roasted garlic out of its skins back into all the pan juices. You might also want to get rid of a bit of the fat in the pan at this point, although I don't always have to - it depends on the lamb. Mush up that garlic & put the pan on the cooktop on a medium heat to reduce a bit. It won't thicken up like a gravy, but that's ok.

This works best if it's served family-style - a big plate in the middle of the table & everyone can help themselves to the unctuous lamb & drippy pan gravy. So, shred the lamb on the serving plate & spoon the gravy over the top.

Serve & dig in!

(sorry about the lack of 'in progress' photos, I had to fight Mr Alphie for the oven & I got a bit frazzled trying to get it in on time)

Chilli Fetta Carrots

slightly modified from Jane Kennedy's OMG! I Can Eat That? pg 193
Serves 4-6

  • 3-4 carrots, peeled & sliced on the diagonal
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chilli flakes, to taste
  • 50g fetta cheese (or there about, I just eyeball it)
  • 2tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
Either toss your carrots in a bit of oil, then spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper; or chuck them straight on the tray (still with baking paper) and spray with oil. Whichever method you choose, sprinkle the carrots with salt & freshly ground pepper & chilli flakes.

Roast the carrots in a 200°C oven for 25 or so minutes, until they're just golden. Mix with the fetta & parsley in a serving bowl.


Do you have any favoured side dish recipes that are starts in their own right? Please share, I'd love to hear about them.


  1. Am copying you ... Went to Torre and got my lamb shoulder this morning. It's still got an hour to go in the oven. The house smells divine! Hope it turns out as well as yours did.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Fantastic! Glad I inspired you. I'm sure it'll be a success, it's a very forgiving kind of recipe!
      Meanwhile I'm having a baked potato for one on this Saturday night...
      (not sure what happened above - my first reply got gobbled up...)