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Although it takes a long time to get the lamb meltingly tender it is almost entirely hands-off – a great dish to get started in the oven before you go for a weekend walk.

Serves: 6-8 

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours marinating 

Cooking time: 6 hours 


For the lamb

1 tbsp olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, crushed 

1 tbsp cumin seeds, roughly ground

2 tsp dried thyme 

1 tsp grounded cinnamon

1 tsp smoked paprika 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 kg bone-in lamb shoulder 

2 x 400 g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed 

To serve 

235 g salad spinach, washed and well-drained 

225 g punnet raspberries 

150 g pecans 

For the dressing 

225 g punnet raspberries 

100 ml water 

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp runny honey

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil with the garlic, cumin, thyme, cinnamon and smoked paprika and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. 

Using a sharp knife, pierce 1cm-deep holes all over the lamb – this will help the spice flavour to get deep inside the meat. 

Rub the marinade all over the lamb, pushing inside the holes you have made. 

Place the lamb in a large baking tray, cover with cling film and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, or overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 150C. Remove and discard the cling film and pour 200ml cold water into the roasting tin. 

Cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven for 5 hours – it won’t need checking or turning so it’s fine to leave it undisturbed.  

After the lamb has had its 5 hours cooking, remove from the oven and discard the foil. 

Increase the oven temperature to 180C. Using a large metal spoon, spoon off and discard as much fat as possible – providing you don’t stir the sauce it will be floating on top. 

Stir the chickpeas through the remaining juices, and return to the oven, uncovered, for a further hour.

While the lamb is in the oven for the final hour, make the dressing by placing all the ingredients into a small saucepan. 

Set over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. 

Boil steadily for about 5 minutes until the raspberries have broken right down and you are left with a shiny, deep-coloured sauce. 

Taste to check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired and a little more honey if it is too sharp. Strain through a sieve to remove the pips and set aside to cool.

Toast the pecans in a dry frying pan until they are deep golden brown and smell lovely and nutty. 

Tip onto a board and roughly chop. Set aside. 

After the final hour in the oven, take the lamb out and transfer to a large plate or board. 

Using two forks, flake the meat into bite-sized pieces.

To serve, divide the spinach leaves between individual plates and scatter over the raspberries and pecans. 

Spoon the shredded lamb and some chickpeas over the top and drizzle on a little dressing. 

Serve the rest of the dressing alongside in a small jug. 

Recipe courtesy of berryworld.com