warm lamb and aubergine salad with pomegranate
one of the things i love about weekends is that you have time to cook things slowly and over long periods of time.
shoulder of lamb is a cut of meat that i want to use more often . it’s good value for money and the meat tastes fantastic, especially if you cook it long and slow. i did a version of this lamb and aubergine ragu using lamb shoulder (which was cooked using the method detailed below) and it was fabulous.
however, despite the chilly weather i wanted to do something lighter this time and was inspired by the nigella lawson recipe for shredded lamb salad with mint and pomegranate (where i discovered this method of cooking shoulder of lamb).
a (little) word of warning - this recipe is a bit faffy but you can easily add/change different elements of it depending on what you fancy eating or what is in season.
warm lamb and aubergine salad with pomegranate (serves 4 with plenty of lamb leftovers)
1 shoulder of lamb (approx 2.5kg)
4 shallots, halved but not peeled
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 carrot, peeled and halved
500ml boiling water
2 aubergines, cut into 1cm thick rounds
1 large pomegranate
200g green beans
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt & pepper
a handful of fresh, chopped mint
preheat the oven to 170c.
put the lamb, fat side up, in a large roasting tin. add the shallots, garlic, carrots and boiling water. cover with foil, making a tent, and cook in the preheated over for 5 hours (the nigella recipe explains how you can do this overnight but i can’t think of anything worse than waking up to a house smelling of lamb!).
remove the lamb from the water (use this as a stock, by removing the vegetables, chilling and then removing the fat). when it is cool enough to handle, remove any fat and take the meat off the bone. it will come off in shreds and you can use two forks to pull it all apart. wrap the meat in foil (as much as you want for your salads) and reheat in the oven for c15 minutes, if necessary, when you are ready to use it.
heat a griddle pan, brush each side of the aubergine slices and cook until they soften and are marked with stripes on each side.
remove the pomegranate seeds - halve the fruit and hold it, cut-side down, over a dish. bash the curved side with a wooden spoon and the seeds will loosen and fall out.
crush a few seeds in a separate dish to get 1 tablespoon of pomegranate juice. discard these bashed seeds and make a dressing by adding to the juice, the red wine vinegar, olive oil and garlic. season to taste and add the mint. place the griddled aubergine slices in a shallow bowl, mix with the dressing and leave to marinade.
blanch the green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and leave to cool.
assemble the dish, using the aubergines and green beans as the bottom layers, topping with warm lamb, pomegranate seeds, red onion and any leftover dressing. serve with fennel and honey flatbreads.