The menu was slow cooked lamb shoulder with Moroccan couscous and roasted sweet potato, with a cucumber & yoghurt dressing, followed by bitter chocolate tart with orange pastry.
This morning I woke early to make the spicy mix to rub into the lamb shoulder (based on a recipe by Lizzie Kamenetzky in this month's delicious. magazine). Firstly I soaked a pinch of saffron in warm water. Meanwhile in my little wizz I blitzed 2 roughly chopped brown onions, 2.5cm piece of roughly chopped ginger, 3-4 garlic cloves, 1tsp chilli flakes (I used one dried chilli instead), 1T ground coriander, 1T ground cumin and 1T garam masala. Add the saffron and its soaking water and blitz again. Season with salt & pepper.
I browned the shoulder of lamb in a frying pan (mine weighed about 1.8kg - the lamb not the frying pan) and then placed him in Isaac, my genius slow cooker. I rubbed the spice paste over the top of the lamb shoulder (above) and then set Isaac to cook for 9 hours (below), whilst I went to work. If you don't have a slow cooker, cook in an ovenproof dish, covered for about 4 hours at 160 degrees.
When I got home the lamb was nearly done. I chopped sweet potato and sprinkled it with ground cumin and coriander, salt & pepper and drizzled with olive oil, before roasting for 30-40 minutes.
I next made the sauce to go with the lamb - thinly sliced cucumber mixed with fresh mint and Greek yoghurt.
For the couscous I cooked brown rice (because I realised I had far less couscous than I thought) and later the couscous as per packet directions, and then mixed the two together. Just before serving I added sultanas, roasted pistachios, pomegranate seeds, olive oil and salt & pepper and tossed the couscous well. I then heaped the couscous (below) into a platter.
The lamb was beautifully tender and slid off the bone (I didn't serve mine with the spicy rub as I didn't think it was necessary for extra flavour). I piled the lamb on top of the couscous and sprinkled some more pomegranate seeds over the top.
I was so pleased with this meal - it was a lovely combo of flavours. The lamb was succulent and delicious, and went very well with the couscous - which looked colourful with yummy bursts of pistachio, sultanas and pomegranate seeds. The yoghurt sauce is a great accompaniment to the lamb, and the sweet potato an excellent side dish. My guests were suitably impressed.