You are all most likely know that I’m enamored with Nigella Lawson. There’s just nothing I don’t love about her, and that certainly goes for her cooking. I respect that she can make fancy food, and then turn around and make a dish with beanie-weenies!
This recipe comes from her book, At My Table, published in 2017. Just all of her other 85 cookbooks, this one has really lovely recipes in it, and I wanted to post on this one.
According to Nigella, “some friends told me about a year ago that they’d gone to a Chinese restaurant and, instead of having duck in pancakes, they’d had soft, shredded lamb. I became obsessed.”
So, she created this recipe – basically pulled lamb with green onions, cucumber, and hoisin sauce on pancakes. She also recommends the combination in lettuce wraps, which sound wonderful, although I made Mandarin pancakes.
Slow-Roasted 5-Spice Lamb with Mandarin Pancakes
1 x approx. 3½ pounds bone-in shoulder of lamb (I used boneless)
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh gingerroot
4 teaspoons Chinese five spice
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
approx. 20 Chinese pancakes (recipe on Peking Duck post)
Iceberg lettuces (separated into leaves to use as wraps)
Scallions (cut into thin strips)
Cucumber (cut into thin strips)
Take the lamb out of the fridge for about an hour to come to room temperature and preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan/325°F. Line a roasting tin in which the lamb will sit snugly with a large piece of foil big enough to wrap around the lamb. Then place another large piece of foil on top, but in the opposite way to the first, giving you 4 ends of foil ready to make a parcel for your lamb.
Mix the ginger, 5-spice, vinegar, soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of the honey together. I also added 3 minced garlic cloves.
Put the lamb skin-side down on the foil-lined tin, and slash into the flesh with a sharp knife. Pour about half of the spice mixture over it, and massage it in well (you might want to think of wearing CSI gloves for this), then turn the lamb over, slash the skin side and pour the rest of the spice mixture over, again massaging a little to try and help it get into the meat. Bring up the sides of the foil, to make a loose parcel, and scrunch together to seal tightly, then roast in the oven for 3½ hours. (Because I used boneless lamb, I only cooked mine for 2 1/2 hours.)
Remove the tin from the oven, unwrap the foil, pulling down the sides so that you can spoon or ladle the juices into a bowl or jug, which is quite a boring job, but not a hard one. (Set these juices aside. When they’re cold, refrigerate, then remove the fat. You can warm these up to reheat any leftover meat to eat with rice later.)
Pour the remaining tablespoon of honey over the top of the lamb, and put back into the oven, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes, at which time it will have a barbecue-blackened soft crust. Let it stand out of the oven for 10 minutes. Ooops, forgot to take a photo.
Shred the meat — I just use a couple of serving forks — and transfer to a warmed wide bowl or platter.
Eat in Chinese pancakes or lettuce wraps, along with some hoisin sauce and strips of scallion and cucumber.