Prepare to be mesmerized by the luxurious tenderness of Twelve-Hour Spiced Lamb Shoulder, a culinary masterpiece that marries succulent boneless lamb shoulder with a medley of aromatic spices and saffron-infused pilaf.
For the Lamb Shoulder:
- 3-4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Spice Rub:
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- Salt, to taste
For the Saffron Pilaf:
- 2 cups basmati rice, soaked and drained
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in warm water
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Preheat and Prepare:
Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C). This low and slow cooking temperature ensures the lamb becomes beautifully tender.
Season the Lamb:
Pat dry the boneless lamb shoulder with paper towels. Season it generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Create the Spice Rub:
In a small bowl, combine paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix well to create the spice rub.
Apply the Spice Rub:
Rub the spice mixture all over the lamb shoulder, coating it evenly. This will infuse the lamb with a rich blend of flavors.
Sear the Lamb:
In a large oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the lamb on all sides until it’s beautifully golden brown. This step adds depth to the final flavors.
Cover the skillet or Dutch oven and transfer it to the preheated oven. Allow the lamb to slow-cook for approximately 4 hours at medium heat or until it’s fork-tender and can be easily pulled apart.
Prepare the Saffron Pilaf:
In a separate pot, bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a gentle simmer. Add saffron threads soaked in warm water to infuse a lovely golden color and delicate flavor.
Cook the Pilaf:
Add the soaked and drained basmati rice to the saffron-infused broth. Cover and cook the rice according to the package instructions until it’s fluffy and cooked to perfection.
Assemble the Dish:
Once the lamb is fully cooked, remove it from the oven. Allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing or pulling it apart.
Serve with Saffron Pilaf:
Serve the tender spiced lamb shoulder slices over a bed of saffron pilaf. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds and freshly chopped cilantro or parsley for a touch of brightness.
This dish is an invitation to appreciate the art of slow cooking and the vibrant flavors that emerge from patience and passion in the kitchen.