BBQ LAMB SHOULDER
Lamb shoulder can be so tender when cooked slowly it simply melts in your mouth. For a multicultural feast invite your family & friends to bring along their own favourite dish for a casual Summer BBQ potluck party.
I grew up in a large family and shared many wonderful experiences together in our neighbourhood. Celebrating Australia Day for me has always been about celebrating the fact we live in a multicultural society and we can all be proud to call ourselves Australian. This simple but elegant lunch or casual dinner is a real crowd pleaser and easy to serve up if it's served buffet style. My Spartan marinade with lemon, pepper and garlic was born for lamb and you get a lovely crunch on the skin from searing on the BBQ.
Growing up where I did in Sydney meant I had exposure to all sorts of amazing cuisines such as Lebanese, Vietnamese, Macedonian, Croatian and Serbian but my favourite of them all was probably Greek. Across the road from us lived a girl named Katerina. She was four years older than me and would often look after us after school or when our parents went out on a date night. Being 12 years old and also being friends with a 16-year-old Greek goddess brought me immense neighbourhood kudos.
Katerina's mother and father were originally from Cyprus and came to Australia in the 1950's under the 'Assisted Passage Migration Scheme', also referred to as the 'Ten Pound Pom' scheme because adult migrants were charged only ten pounds sterling for the fare, and most of them came from Britain. In fact, the scheme was not limited to migrants from Britain but was also available to residents of British colonies such as Malta and Cyprus. I would spend hours watching old WWII movies in black and white with her elderly father and eagerly eat her mother's expertly cooked offerings of freshly made dolmades, spanakopita, kalitsounia and my favourite skaltsounia, a crunchy crescent-shaped pastry with a delicious, flavourful walnut, jam and apple filling.
One year, my father invited the people we knew in our street (our street was a major road and about 5km long) to an Australia Day BBQ that we were planning; each family was asked to bring a dish and it was seriously a multicultural smorgasbord. I thought I had been transported to the heaven realm, not just because I thought Katerina was an angel incarnate but also the sheer variety of dishes on offer was just incredible. One absolute standout dish was the slow cooked lamb brought by Andrea, Katerina's mother. When they arrived she politely asked my father to crisp it up on the BBQ. I can tell you with all honesty this lamb recipe is a food memory I’ll never forget.
PREP TIME: 25 mins
COOKING TIME: 6 1/2 - 12 1/2 hrs
1kg whole boneless cooked lamb shoulder Note: Cook the lamb in the oven for 6 hours at 140C, then cover it with foil or I prefer to use the sous vide method and cook it at 80C for 12 hours.
5 tbsps SPARTAN
500g chat or small washed potatoes
2 tbsps olive oil
4 handfuls of baby spinach
1 red capsicum
3 tbsps crumbled feta
2 ripe avocados
2 lemons, cut one in half
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup Greek unsweetened yoghurt
~5 mint leaves sliced
Preheat oven to 220°C and place a roasting dish inside.
Cut chat potatoes in half and place in a pot just covered in cold water. Season the water with a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook potatoes for 15 minutes until tender on the edges but still firm in the centre.
Drain the potatoes and place into a medium sized bowl.
Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place on roasting tray cut side down.
Roast for 40 minutes or until golden and crispy; shake the tray a couple of times during cooking time.
15 minutes before potatoes are ready pre-heat your BBQ to high with lid down.
While BBQ is heating up, marinate the lamb by combining 5 tablespoons of oil and SPARTAN in a bowl, then generously coat lamb all over.
Cook lamb on medium with lid closed for 8 minutes; with an egg slice and tongs carefully flip the lamb over; squeeze on the 2 lemon halves and cook for another 8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Make the dressing by placing all the ingredients in a jar and shake together.
Once potatoes are cooked, place spinach in a large bowl and arrange the assemble the salad ingredients.
Add lemon zest or wedges to lamb.
Pull the slow cooked lamb into pieces and serve with a roasted chat potato salad and zesty yoghurt salad dressing.