Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder on flatbreads with Minty yoghurt sauce

Many years ago I used to be nervous of cooking large hunks of meat, always a bit panicky that I wouldn't get the timing right and eat up with a tough result -  until I discovered the miracle of slow cooking. These days if I have 8 or more people coming for dinner I confess I usually go straight to slow cooked lamb or pork in the knowledge that it will be almost impossible to stuff up. Often for this type of cooking I will choose lamb or pork shoulder (although lamb leg is also great, and ahem, pork belly??!) - the extra fat running through the meat ensures it stays meltingly tender and moist, and tah dah - everybody's happy! It is super simple to make, so easy that I have often cooked this in the barbecue at Waiheke, wrapping the flatbreads in tinfoil and popping them on top of the barbecue lid to heat up. The minty yoghurt sauce and onion jam work particularly well with the lamb, but you could also use a good tomato chutney or a good dollop of chilli jam. This is one I wrote up and shot for Fairfax, and the perfect way to feed a crowd (like at Waiheke) but it can easily be made to serve 4...and then you'll have plenty of left-overs for lamb curry too! Hope you like it :)

2 large lamb shoulders or whole legs of lamb, bone in
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
3 cups red wine or vegeatble stock
1/2 a large telegraph cucumber
2 cups plain, natural yogurt 

3/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
5 cups salad greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion jam (bought or homemade) or tomato chutney
20 flat breads
1 cup fresh mint leaves or coriander to serve

At least half an hour before you start, take your lamb out of the fridge. Set the oven temperature to 160˚C. Rub ground cumin into the flesh (not fat) of  the lamb legs or shoulders and place in the roasting dish. Squeeze over half of the lemon juice, season really well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle over the cumin seeds. Pour the wine or stock around the base of the lamb and cover the roasting tin with tinfoil. Pop into the oven and forget about it for four hours. At this point remove the tinfoil, increase the oven temperature to 170˚ and roast a further hour. Remove from the oven and leave to rest while you heat flat breads, either by wrapping in tinfoil and putting in the oven for 10 minutes or by microwaving wrapped in paper towels. Halve cucumber lengthwise and use the tip of a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds. Grate, then mix with yoghurt, lemon zest, mint and garlic. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat flatbreads in the oven or microwave and serve with lamb, onion jam or tomato chutney, salad greens tossed in olive oil and the remaining lemon juice, mint or coriander and the minty yoghurt sauce. Serves 10

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