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Slow wood-roasted lamb shoulder

with rose petal ras el hanout

Serves 8 as part of a banquet

Preparation 20 minutes + 3 hours or overnight marinating  

cooking time 5 hours  

Recipes Hannah Meppem and Cushla Barry
Food Styling Hannah Meppem
Wine Matches Peter Bourne
Photography William Meppem

Ingredients

3 tbsp ras el hanout
1 tbsp edible rose petals
2 star anise
juice and zest of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1.6kg spring lamb shoulder
1 onion, sliced
2 baby fennel, cut into wedges and keep fronds
2 pears, cut into wedges
200ml water

pistachio and parsley mixture  
½ cup pistachios
¼ cup parsley leaves
juice and zest of one lemon
¼ cup olive oil

TO SERVE: blanched green beans, reserved fennel fronds, rocket, mint, coriander and extra rose petals  

Recipe

1 To make pistachio and parsley mixture, place pistachios, parsley, lemon juice and zest and olive oil in a mortar and pestle. Season with salt and pepper and pound to a rough paste.

2Place the ras el hanout, rose petals, star anise, lemon juice and zest, garlic, honey, and olive oil in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Smother the lamb shoulder in spice mixture and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

3 Preheat your oven or wood-fired oven, if available, to 160°C.

4Place the onion, fennel and pears in a large heavy-based casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid. Pour water into the base and roast, basting often for 4-5 hours or until lamb is falling off the bone and the pear and fennel are caramelised. You may need to add more water to prevent burning.

5To serve, spoon pears and fennel into the base of a serving dish and top with lamb. Sprinkle over fennel fronds, rocket, mint, coriander and extra rose petals. Serve with blanched green beans topped with pistachio and parsley mixture.

Wine Match

2016 Château La Nerthe Les Cassagnes Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Rhône Valley, France, A$36

Harmony is the key to this wine match with the Les Cassagnes the impeccable counterpoint to the dense, unctuous flavours of the lamb. Grenache leads the way, its juicy red fruits in tandem with the sweet flavours of the rose petal-infused ras el hanout. The dish is lifted by the pistachio and parsley with the flavours of the pear and fennel in synergy with those of the Les Cassagnes, unencumbered, as it is, by oak.