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    Slow-Baked Shoulder of Lamb with Fennel and Rose Harissa

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    Slow-Baked Shoulder of Lamb with Fennel and Rose Harissa

    Like couscous, harissa can be both a dish and an ingredient. The former comprises seared, pounded peppers, tomatoes and onions with coriander, garlic and caraway; the latter, however, is what is more readily associated with the name. A red paste made with pulverised chilli, garlic, salt and olive oil, harissa adds a fiery flavour to dishes throughout North Africa. The harissa used here is further flavoured with rose petals, making it a great foil for the sweetness of the lamb. This spicy, melting joint shouldn't be carved; use a fork and spoon instead. And don't be tempted by the cheaper brands of harissa, which can be mind-numbingly hot and would ruin this dish. The rose harissa is warm and aromatic and not too spicy.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 270 minutes to 330 minutes
    • Total time: 4 hours 40 minutes to 5 hours 40 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 40 minutes

    Serves: 6

    Ingredients

    • 4 large onions, sliced
    • 3 fennel bulbs, finely sliced
    • 2 whole bulbs of garlic
    • 75ml red wine vinegar
    • 250ml red wine
    • 1 heaped tbsp rose harissa
    • 2 tsp sea salt
    • 75ml extra virgin olive oil
    • 1.5kg shoulder of lamb, on the bone

    Method

    1. 4 large onions, sliced 3 fennel bulbs, finely sliced 2 whole bulbs of garlic 75ml red wine vinegar 250ml red wine 1 heaped tbsp rose harissa 2 tsp sea salt 75ml extra virgin olive oil 1.5kg shoulder of lamb, on the bone
    2. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Mix all the ingredients, except the lamb, in a large casserole or deep roasting dish. Nestle the lamb into the veg and add enough water to cover it by about 80 per cent. Bring it to the boil on the hob. Transfer to the oven. Cook for 35 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150°C, gas mark 2.
    3. Cook for 4-5 hours more, basting every half an hour. Carefully transfer the lamb from the casserole to a serving platter and keep warm. Strain and discard the fat from the vegetables; they should resemble a compote-like chutney.
    4. Serve the lamb, making sure everyone gets a nice crusty bit as well as the tender meat, with a big salad and couscous, chickpeas and minted yogurt dishes.

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    Drinks recommendation

    A tangy and youthful Rhône-style red would be just the thing with this dish: bright and spicy with little tannin.

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    5 stars