This showstopper of a lamb dish is really straightforward. The meat needs to be left in brine for 24 hours before the delicious, fragrant and warmly spiced rub is massaged into the meat and finally it is smoked and slow-cooked. The long, slow preparation is well worth it, though, for the intense, sweet smoky flavour it produces. Home smoking is much easier than you might think; just make sure the meat is raised above the wood chips and both the smoking tray and the joint are tightly encased in tin foil. And open a window …
SMOKED LAMB SHOULDER
400g coarse sea salt
1 lamb shoulder (about 2.8–3kg)
100g soft light brown sugar
200g granulated sugar
20g garlic powder
50g smoked paprika
50g sweet paprika
6 star anise
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp juniper berries
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp coriander seeds
500g young, tender runner beans, such as Tenderstar
40g unsalted butter salt, for seasoning
enough wood smoking chips to create an even layer in the baking tray. Lamb Jus (see page 158), to serve Confit Potatoes (see page 29), to serve
Dissolve 300g of the salt in 1.5 litres of water in a large bowl. Submerge the lamb shoulder in the brine and put it in the fridge for 24 hours. The next day, rinse the shoulder under cold running water and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a bowl, including the 100g salt, and rub into the shoulder.
Put the smoking chips in a nice even layer in a large roasting tin lined with foil. Sit a wire rack on top, one that is a similar size to the roasting tin, making sure the wire isn’t touching the chips. Put the shoulder on the rack and cover the entire rack and tin with a tent of foil, so no smoke escapes. Sit the tin on the hob over a low– medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove the covered tin from the heat and allow the shoulder to smoke in the foil tent for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C Fan/Gas Mark 2. Transfer the smoked lamb shoulder to a clean baking tray, place in the oven and cook for 4 hours until tender.
Top and tail the runner beans and remove the stringy sides. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the butter and cook the beans for 3 minutes. Drain.
Serve the lamb in the middle of the table with a jug of sauce for guests to help themselves and with the runner beans and confit potatoes in a large bowl alongside.
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Rogan By Simon Rogan