As the weather gets cooler, the palate starts to crave the warm richness of lamb.
With the sticky decadence of sundried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, this is one of my lazy Sunday favorites. With a little prep around lunch time, your lamb will slowly braise through the afternoon, filling your kitchen with the rich smell of roasting lamb and sundried tomatoes.
By the time dinner rolls around everyone in the house will have worked up a great appetite.
Ingredients 1 kg lamb forequarter chops (or any of the cheaper cuts)
2 small onions
4-5 cloves garlic
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup soy sauce
3/4 tbs thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1 tbs oil drained from sundried tomatoes
Salt and pepper to season
Ideally this recipe should be a one-pot meal so it is preferable to use a thick based pot that can go from stove top to oven. But if you don't have one, transferring from a frying pan into an oven dish will work well too.
Pre-heat your oven to 150 Celsius fan-forced.
Roughly slice the onions and crush the garlic cloves. Set your pot/frying pan onto medium-low heat and grease with 1 tbs oil from the sundried tomatoes. Sautee with a lid on to prevent over browning.
Meanwhile, begin to trim your lamb of excess fat. There's no need to be too thorough, just remove any easily separated fats to help keep the dish from ending up too oily.
On medium-high, sear the trimmed lamb portions on both sides in batches and set aside in a covered dish.
Add the sundried tomatoes, thyme leaves, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar to the onions in the pan and stir through until foaming.
Add a cup of boiling water to de-glaze the pan and turn down the heat to medium. Add the lamb back in and toss through the onion and sundried tomato mixture. If needed, top up with more hot water until the lamb is approximately half covered.
If you are using a different pot for the oven, after de-glazing the pan, put the lamb into your oven dish, then pour over the glaze. Then top up with boiling water as required. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Put the lid on and put the pot in your pre-heated oven. It will braise for 2-3 hours depending on the thickness of your lamb.Check in at around the 1.5 hour mark and if you find you're running dry, just top up with more boiling water.
You will know that your lamb is ready when you can pull out the small bones completely clean, like so.
Using a fine sieve, drain off the remaining liquid into a small container. Mine should have been smaller, I had less liquid than I expected.
Put the drained liquid into the fridge. What we're doing here is separating out the fat from the juice. Once it's set in the cold of the fridge, we can scrape the fat off the top and discard.
Put the clean juice back into the lamb and begin gently separating the meat with your tongs. It should be soft enough that it should shred easily with just a small amount of effort. Make sure that you remove all of the bones.
Now your lamb is done and ready to eat. For tonight, I served it over rice and sauteed vegetables. Any lamb you don't eat that night will keep in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for two months.
I also recommend; mashed potatoes and broccoli, in a wrap with rice and beans or shredded over potato wedges with sour cream and fresh tomato.