It’s weekend, Autumn has hit with a thump, Winter is around the corner and the clocks have changed – damn you time! It will be dark at 4.30 soon! It is a season that once it gets going I absolutely adore though – yeah I know I contradicting myself… but once I am in it – the colours tends to fill me with joy, plus the family members are taking great pleasure to come over for long comforting dinners and we are all getting ready to celebrate Christmas. What’s not to like?!
Food means comfort to a lot of us—particularly when it’s connected to the memory of a person or place we love dearly so don’t hesitate any longer, call your loved ones and re-group for an all night dinner party! Here are my three rules for a great family dinner:
1- You need a big chunk of roasted meat
2- Show off by making a gorgeous dessert – but beware: keep it light & fresh! (After the lamb roast, I chose to serve a Pavlova with fresh whipped cream and tones of berries and it was a huge success!)
3- And of course the wine will be pouring all night 😉
The past few weeks I have been experimenting with different cuts of lamb and so when the family catch up showed up on the planning I decided it was the perfect opportunity for my next challenge: Slow-cook an entire shoulder.
Korean barbecue is hot right now, but quite difficult to recreate at home. By marinating a lamb shoulder in the same Korean flavours of soy, miso, gochujang (Korean chilli paste) and sesame and then letting it cook till its falls off the bone you’ll have the perfect meat to wrap up in lettuce with sticky sushi rice, cucumber, spring onions, hoisin and sriracha (the very trendy Asian hot sauce).
It’s a great alternative to the classic Sunday lunch, but still gives you the satisfaction of having a big hunk of meat roasting away for hours!
Korean Roast Lamb Shoulder:
Cooking time: 5hr
– 6 garlic gloves, grated
– 4 spring onions, finely chopped
– thumb size piece of ginger, grated
– 3tbsp sesame oil
– 4tbsp white miso paste
– 2tbsp gochujang
– 2tbsp soy sauce
– 1tbsp mirin
– 1 x 2,5kg lamb shoulder
– salt & pepper
– 5 small cucumber, finely cut lengthways (to serve)
– 1 large bunch spring onions, , finely cut lengthways (to serve)
– hoisin sauce – I make it myself and love following this recipe (to serve)
– sriracha (to serve)
– 400gr cooked sushi rice (to serve)
– sesame seeds (to serve)
– 2 large head of romaine lettuce (to serve)
Mix together the garlic, spring onions, ginger, sesame oil, gochujang, miso, soy and mirin. Season the lamb shoulder with salt and pepper, then smother with the marinade. Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate for 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 200°C. Heat the vegetable oil in a roasting tin. Remove the meat from the marinade, add to the tin and brown on all sides. (The meat will catch slightly because of the sugar in the marinade, so be mindful of this.) Transfer the browned lamb to the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 150°C/Gas 3 and roast for another 4 hours, or until the lamb is falling off the bone.
Carefully transfer the lamb onto a serving plate. Tip the excess fat from the pan and spoon the remaining juices over the meat. Use a couple of forks to pull the lamb meat into shreds. Arrange the lettuce leaves, spring onions, and cucumber on separate plates. Pop the rice in a serving bowl and top with some of the sesame seeds.
To eat, fill a lettuce leaf with a small spoonful of rice, a few spring onions and a dollop each of hoisin sauce and sriracha. Top with the shredded lamb and more of the sesame seeds, wrap and munch.
I recommend a slightly gamey Rhône or Spanish red such as a Ribera del Duero is a good choice with this fattier cut and flavourful spices.
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:
A dream come true.