Woah. This dish was stunning. The most tender, juicy lamb, floating in a fragrant, Greek inspired sauce laden with gorgeous, waxy Kipfler potatoes. Dotted with a few briny Kalamata olives and a dollop of luscious Greek yoghurt this was restaurant quality, for sure.
This dish could absolutely be done in the slow cooker but if I am honest, the oven worked superbly. The potatoes had a lovely golden hue and the lamb developed a flavour packed crust that won’t be achieved in the slow cooker, unless you choose to finish it off in the oven for 30 minutes. If using the slow cooker, brown your meat first and cook on low for 8 hours. If you are not going to finish in the oven then you may want to reduce your liquid content to 1 cup of stock.
Prep time: 25 Minutes Cooking time: 3.5 Hours $$ Medium Budget
1.4kg Lamb shoulder, bone in
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbs of dried Rigani (normal dried oregano will do)*
2 tbs of finely chopped dill
1kg of Kipfler potatoes, cut in half diagonally (or thirds depending on size. You could also use whole baby potatoes)
1 cup of dry white wine
2 cups of chicken stock
700ml of tomato passata
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Sea salt and cracked pepper
1 tsp of sugar
24 Kalamata olives (I used pip in for deeper flavour)
1 cup of greek yoghurt, to serve
Finely chopped dill for garnish
Preheat the oven to 160°C
Heat a large, heavy based and oven proof pan and add a little oil. Season the lamb shoulder generously and brown on both sides until nice and golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick and pour in the wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any lamb bits from the bottom of the pan and then pour in the stock and passata. Season with a little salt, pepper and sugar, stir and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, place the garlic, dried oregano, lemon rind and chopped dill in a bowl and mix to combine. Place the lamb shoulder in the pan, leaving the top of the meat above the sauce and place the herb mixture on top of the lamb, pressing it down with the back of a spoon. Dot the potatoes around the lamb shoulder, leaving them half exposed (so they go nice and brown on top), place a lid on the pan and place in the oven for 2.5 hours, checking periodically.
After 2.5 hours scatter the olives around the lamb, drizzle over the lemon juice and bake with the lid off for a further 30-40 minutes or until the lamb and potatoes are nice and golden and the lamb falls from the bone when pried apart with two forks.
To serve the lamb, use a knife to divide the lamb into 6 largish chunks, removing the bones if need be. Divide the lamb and potatoes between 6 serving plates and then spoon over the sauce and olives. Top each plate with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of fresh dill. Serve with steamed greens or a Greek inspired salad. Gia Mas!!
*Rigani is Greek dried oregano, still on its stalks. It can be found in specialty food shops….
Leftover dill? You may wish to cook this……