If you want to mix things up this Christmas – try a twist on a traditional Ham – Persian Lamb shoulder. It makes a beautiful centrepiece if you were just to make one thing with a bunch of salads on the side and can be prepped ahead and put in the oven Christmas morning.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 5-6 hours
1 lamb shoulder (about 2.5kg), bone in
3 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp each ground cinnamon, cardamom and chilli flakes
Grated rind and juice of a lemon
Glug of olive oil
Large bunch mint
4 red onions, cut into wedges
4 tangelos, cut in half
6 star anise
1L chicken stock
1 small bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
Zest of 2 lemons
Seeds of a pomegranate
Preheat oven to 170C. Coarsely crush toasted cumin seeds in a small blender. Add garlic, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, chilli flakes, lemon rind and juice, olive oil and mint. Season generously with salt and pepper and blend to a paste. Set aside.
Scatter onions over the base of a large roasting pan, drizzle with oil and season. Place lamb on top of onions and pat spice mixture on lamb to form a crust. Arrange tangeloes around lamb, scatter with star anise then pour over stock and cover with foil. Roast until very tender and falling from the bone (5-6 hours). For the gremolata mix all ingredients together and serve on top of the cooked lamb. Serve lamb with all bits from the pan, the tangelos are delicious squeezed on top.