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Slow-Baked Shoulder of Lamb with Fennel and Rose Harissa
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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.
A tangy and youthful Rhône-style red would be just the thing with this dish: bright and spicy with little tannin.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in May 2006.