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Slow-cooked breast of lamb with aubergines

With a couple of hours in the oven, the rosemary, garlic, white wine and balsamic vinegar in this dish really mingle and merge to make melt-in-the-mouth meat. Look for breast of lamb in your local butcher - with a slow-cook like this you won’t be disappointed.

Ingredients

For the slow-cooked breast of lamb
For the aubergines
For the spinach and preserved lemon salad
To serve
  • 2 tbsp kashk (fermented whey) (available from Persian stores and online suppliers)

  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

Preparation method

  1. For the slow-cooked breast of lamb, preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.

  2. Smear the flesh side of the breast with the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Roll the breasts and tie them with kitchen string, resembling a Swiss roll, skin-side outwards.

  3. Heat a large casserole dish with a lid and add half of the butter and the olive oil. Once hot, add the breast and cook until nicely golden-brown all over - this could take 15 minutes or so, the slower the better.

  4. Take out the lamb and set aside on a plate.

  5. Add the thinly sliced onions, fennel seeds and herbes de Provence to the casserole and cook until very soft - for about 15 minutes.

  6. Place the breasts on top of the onions, add the wine, lamb bones and enough water to come up halfway up the lamb.

  7. Lightly season the breasts with salt and pepper, cover with the lid and cook for two hours in the oven.

  8. Lift the breasts, remove the string, and wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge until needed.

  9. Cook the braising liquid over a medium heat until the volume of liquid has reduced to about 200ml/7fl oz. Strain through a fine metal sieve, pushing all the juices from the onions.

  10. For the aubergines, preheat the oven to 200C/4000F/Gas 6. Place the aubergine on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and, once cool enough to handle, roughly tear the aubergine flesh, discarding the skin.

  11. Heat a large pan and add the oil. Once hot, fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the spices and cook for a further five minutes.

  12. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes.

  13. Finally add the aubergine flesh and cook for another 15 minutes over a low heat.

  14. For the spinach and preserved lemon salad, place the spinach and lemons in a large bowl.

  15. Put the olive oil, some of the juice from the preserved lemons,the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl and whisk. Pour this dressing over the salad and toss together.

  16. When you are ready to serve the lamb, remove the lamb from the cling film and cut into four. Heat a medium frying pan and add the remaining butter. Once hot, fry the lamb on all sides.

  17. Serve kashk (fermented whey) over the aubergine and finish with chopped mint and coriander. Serve the breast of lamb (and jus) with the aubergines, the spinach and lemon salad and yoghurt dusted with paprika.

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