the perfect roast for beginners [5 ingredients | 360 minutes]

pot roast lamb shoulder with lemon, feta & olives pot roast lamb shoulder with lemon, feta & olives

Roast lamb.

Such a classic dish, particularly around Easter time – but one that can be a little daunting if you haven’t tackled roasting a whole hunk of meat before.

Now my friends, do I have a treat for you. We’re talking a super simple pot roast. A dish that takes about 10 minutes to get ready then you just pop it in the oven and leave it be for 360 minutes – or 6 hours. Check it once or twice and wait until the meat is moist and super tender – so tender you can literally cut it with a spoon.

There are many benefits to this pot roast. It’s almost too beautiful for words.

1. You’re cooking the meat covered with a little liquid so there’s no risk that it’s going to dry out.
2. The low temperature means the meat is not going to overcook and be tough.
3. The window of when the meat is ‘done’ is nice and big. So half an hour either way won’t make a big difference. Perfect for entertaining when you can’t rely on your guests to be on time.
4. It is the most succulent, moist lamb. Ever.
5. The lemon cooks down with the pan juices to give a lovely lemony ready made sauce.
6. It’s using shoulder of lamb which is cheaper than a leg.
7. It can be made ahead and reheated easily.

So if you haven’t cooked roast lamb before, now is the time to start. Even if you’re an old hand at the subtle art of roasting, I’m sure you’ll love this dish just as much as me.
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pot roast lamb shoulder with lemon, feta & olives

[5 ingredients]
pot roast lamb with feta & olives

serves 4

Inspired by the lovely Sal and my Melbournian Greek-at-heart friend Kate and her mate George.

You could substitute in ground coriander seeds – I was just being a little lazy. And buttery Sicilian olives would be my pick.

Serve on a bed of wilted greens such as spinach or silverbeet and if you’re feeling up for it, some spuds roasted with rosemary & garlic – preferably in duck fat. So good.

Next time I’d double the recipe and cook 2 shoulders at once. The best leftovers ever – thinking a lamb sandwich with chutney & rocket, or a lamb ragu with pasta or even a filling for a decadent pot pie. Trust me, you won’t have any problems getting rid of the lamb.

And I wasn’t kidding about the 360 minutes. You’re going to need a whole 6 hours for this dish but it only takes 10 minutes of active cooking time. The rest is letting the slow oven work its magic while you get on with your day.

2 lemons, thickly sliced crosswise
1 small shoulder lamb, bone in (approx 1.4kg or 3lb)
1T corriander seeds
200g feta, crumbled
large handful green olives

Preheat oven to 170C or 340F (if your oven is fan forced reduce the heat to 150C / 300F).

Place sliced lemons in the base of a cast iron pot or casserole dish large enough to hold the lamb snugly. Add 1/2C water. Rub lamb with olive oil, salt & pepper and place on top of the lemons. Sprinkle over coriander seeds and cover tightly with foil and a lid – if you have one.

Bake for 3 hours. Reduce heat by 20C / 40F and cook for another 3 hours or until lamb can literally be cut with a spoon. Keep warm.

When you’re ready to serve pop the feta an olives in with the lamb and bring to a simmer on the stove top.

Shred lamb from the bone and serve with the lemony pan juices topped with the feta and olives.
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pot roast lamb shoulder with lemon, feta & olives


[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
wilted greens

serves 4 as an accompaniment

Nutmeg may seem a little weird but it’s a traditional companion with spinach, especially when it’s wilted.

If you need to cater for vegetarians, you could serve them these wilted greens with a fried egg topped with some of the feta and olives.

1 bunch silverbeet or 2 bunches english spinach
generous knob of butter
freshly grated nutmeg, optional

Place a large saucepan over a high heat.

Wash leaves well, trim stalks and discard and cut the leaves into wide ribbons about 2cm (1in) thick.

Place butter and leaves in the pan and cover . Cook for a minute or so then stir and keep cooking until the greens are just wilted.

roast potatoes with garlic & rosemary

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