Pulled Shawarma Lamb

I take no credit for this recipe its heavily bastardised from the brilliant Josh Katz of Berber & Q. I have been playing around with his recipes for a while and this was exceptional. An important thing to note – my wife cannot stand cardamon and clove so I omitted them from Josh’s recipe. I also couldn’t use a barbecue so I adapted the recipe for the oven and it came out very well.

Serves 6 | time 5 hours

Prep 30 minutes | Cook 4 hours + rest 30 minutes

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Ingredients

  • 1 lamb shoulder (2kg – 2.5kg)
  • 2 x good handfuls of parsley
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • Third of a block of butter, mixed with a tbsp of Shawarma Rub

Shawarma rub

  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Method

Part one

  • Put your oven on 170 degrees c or 150 if you have a fan oven.
  • Bring the Lamb up to room temperature, pat dry as much as possible and slash the skin all over with a sharp knife so there are lots of nooks and crannies to massage the rub into.
  • Get two big handfuls of rub and massage it into the skin. Working it into the rivets made by the knife. Do this all over until the whole thing is covered in rub.

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Part two

  • Leave this for at least half an hour while the oven preheats and you get out a tray with a roasting rack on top; a trivet made of carrots and onions would do the job if you don’t have a roasting rack, in essence all you are attempting to do is lift the meat off the tray so the air circulates around it and crisps everything up.
  • Before putting the meat in the oven, rub it all over with oil, season generously with salt and pepper and put on the bottom shelf.

Part three

  • Every so often (I did it every hour), take the meat out and brush with the mix of butter and rub.
  • Also check the meat, you should see it start to pull away from the bones, leaving large bits of clean bone exposed. It should break apart when you pinch it – when its like this its done. Don’t stress about the time too much you can leave it in anger or take it out before, its not a hard and fast rule, just check the meat isn’t burning – which it shouldn’t at this temperature.

Part four

  • After 4 hours – or when you are ready to take it out – brush any remaining butter over and leave to rest for at least half an hour but longer won’t hurt. This will also give you time to prep any last bits and / or set the table.
  • When you are ready to serve, take the whole thing to the table and shred the meat in front of your guests for a bit of theatre.
  • Serve with salt (iceberg and some pickled red cabbage would go great), flatbreads or pitta, chilli sauce, garlic sauce, chimmichurri would work well, as would salsa verde.

Find the original recipe for the Pulled Shawarma Lamb and loads of other brilliant recipes in this book.

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Crispy roast duck with pancakes & dipping sauce

Fancy a roast dinner? Switch it up and roast a duck.

Serves 4 | time 4 hours

Prep 30 minutes | Cook 3 hours + rest 30 minutes

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Ingredients

  • 1 duck (1kg – 1.5kg)
  • 2 x good handfuls of coriander
  • 3 heaped tbsp of Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 cm chunk of ginger, crushed lightly in a pestle and mortar
  • 3 cloves fo garlic. crushed lightly in a pestle and mortar with the ginger
  • 6 spring onions, one roughly chopped and the rest sliced thinly (or julienne)
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced thinly (or julienne)
  • Chinese pancakes -easily found in Chinese supermarkets and some bigger supermarkets

Hoisin

  • 3 tbsp of Lao Gan Ma chilli oil with Black Bean  (the brand is also known as The Godmother or Angry Lady)
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar or Mirin (I have used white wine vinegar before and it works fine)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2cm chunk of ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp runny honey

 

Method

Part one – Duck

  • Preheat your oven to 170c.
  • Dry your duck with kitchen paper (I sometimes get a hairdryer out if I’m feeling particularly dramatic) and dry the duck well – inside and out.
  • Cut off the flap of fat that hangs over the the cavity, then season the duck generously with salt, pepper and five spice powder. Really work it into the skin.
  • Pop spring onions, garlic, ginger and star anise in the city and place on a roasting rack.
  • It’s really important that the duck is not on the bottom of the pan, so either use a roasting rack (which sits on a tray), a trivet (using carrots and/or onions) or, as I do, a cake cooling rack sat on top off a roasting tin.
  • Cook in the oven for 1 hour at 170c then turn down to 140c for 2 hours.
  • You have a choice here – the Thomas Keller school of thought on crispy skin is that the less you open the oven the better, however the duck will produce a lot of fat which is great for flavour – so you can either leave the door shut and not baste or you can open the oven every 45 minutes and spoon that delicious fat all over the skin. I personally would go for the latter.

Part two – Sauce

  • Heat a small saucepan on a gentle heat. Crush the garlic and ginger in a pestle and mortar and work it hard until you’ve created a kind of paste. Add in the black beans and smush them together.
  • Put that in the pan until fragrant, then add soy sauce, vinegar and honey. Stir well and taste. You should get a sour salty note up-front, then heavy sweetness and lastly a slight heat from the beans. Remember that this will be diluted a great deal by the veg, duck and pancakes so it should be pretty punchy.
  • Bring it to the boil then, switch off the heat. If the sauce is very thin – you want it to coat the back of a spoon – then pop it on a low simmer for a few minutes. Don’t leave it – stay close and look after it.
  • Check the duck and baste if you have chosen to to do that.

 

Part three – Pancakes

  • Put a pan on to boil and either hook up a Chinese style steamer or a conventional western one and cook the pancakes in their packets as per the instructions. Then take the steamer off the heat – but keep them inside the steamer until you serve so they stay hot.
  • Now I am sure that you may be asking why not make these yourself, you absolutely can have a crack at it. Here is a recipe from The Guardian that should help you out. The reason I don’t is that they are loads of faff and they are never better than the packet ones. Another reason why the packet ones are great is that they are just like the ones you get from a takeaway and this is basically what we are trying to replicate isn’t it.

 

Part four – serve

  • Take the duck out and leave to rest for at least 30 mins – leave it on its rack so air gets around it and it doesn’t sweat. For this reason try to avoid covering it tightly with foil. Just leave it somewhere warm.
  • Pop everything on the table, gently re-heating your sauce if necessary, sprinkle some coriander on the duck from a height (this allows the herbs to fall naturally) then bring the meat out and shred at the table for a bit of theatre.

Sour & hot French beans with kimchi

I can’t get enough of this sour and spicy dish

Serves 2 as a starter or 4 as a side | total time 20 minutes

Prep 10 minutes | cook time 10 minutes

 

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Ingredients

  • 300g french beans, top and tailed
  • 1 heaped tbsp of Lao Gan Ma chilli oil with Black Bean  (the brand is also known as The Godmother or Angry Lady)
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinger (although white whine vinegar or cider vinegar will work fine)
  • Two cloves of garlic or 1 large clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 inch chunk of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stick (optional) – if you dont have this lemon / lime zest or a teaspoon of tamarind will work
  • 1 pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Spring onion, chopped for garnish

Kimchi

Use the recipe on the link, or if you are short of time just buy a jar. 

  • Add this to taste. I go for a large spoonful or even two.

 

Method

Part one

  • Put a pan of water on to boil and season with salt.
  • Grab a pestle and mortar and grind the garlic, ginger and salt (the salt gives it the necessary friction required for grinding).
  • Pop in your lemongrass and smash it up – try not to grind the lemongrass. You still want it to keep together so its easy to remove later.
  • Add the vinegar, fish sauce and soy sauce and mix.

Part two

  • Add your beans to the boiling pan and boil for 2 minutes – i like them with a bit of bite so I wouldn’t go over 2 minutes.
  • drain and refresh with cold water to stop the cooking process and to keep the colour.

Part three

  • Heat a wok or deep frying pan to a high heat and add the black bean paste for 20 seconds – you should have enough oil here to lubricate the whole dish without the need to add more.
  • Add the sauce from your pestle and mortar and mix, it should spit a bit so be careful of your clothes and limbs
  • Add in the beans and stir fry in the sauce for a minute or two – the sauce should slightly reduce and the beans should be hot all the way through.

Part four

  • Transfer to a bowl and place the kimchi on top, stir to heat the kimchi and serve immediately .

Asparagus with preserved lemons and anchovy crumb and with a zingy basil dressing

Serves 4 | time 30 minutes

Prep 20 minutes | Cook 10 minutes

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30g crustless sourdough bread
30g pine nuts
2 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
Flaked sea salt and black pepper
25g unsalted butter
400g asparagus, woody ends trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
10g basil leaves, finely shredded
½ tsp each finely grated lemon zest and juice

Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. Blitz the sourdough in a food processor to fine crumbs, then pulse a few times with the pine nuts, anchovies, a generous pinch of flaked sea salt and plenty of pepper, until everything is finely chopped.

Put a small frying pan on a medium-high heat with the butter and, once it starts to foam, fry the crumbs for two to three minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crisp. Tip the crumbs on to a plate and leave to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the asparagus with two teaspoons of oil, the garlic, a quarter-teaspoon of flaked sea salt and a good grind of pepper. Spread out the spears on an oven tray lined with baking paper and roast for eight to 10 minutes, until soft and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and leave somewhere warm.

In a small bowl, mix the basil with a teaspoon of oil, the lemon zest and juice, and a pinch of flaked sea salt.

Sprinkle all but a tablespoon of the crumb mix on a large platter or between four individual plates. Top with the asparagus, then spoon over the basil and lemon salsa, and finish with a final sprinkling of crumbs.

Ingredients

3 or 4 potatoes chopped into chunks

4 inches of dried chorizo, diced

6 spears of asparagus

Good handful of parsley or coriander, chopped

2 fresh eggs

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp olive oil

Big handful of mature cheddar (optional)

Method

Part one

Bring a pan of water to the boil, salt generously then pop the potatoes in for ten minutes until soft.

In a large cold pan, fry the small chunks of chorizo. This will allow the fat to render out which the potato will soak up later.

Once the potato is done, drain and mash lightly,

When the chorizo is hot and just starting to crisp, add the vinegar oil, oregano and potato.

Mix well, turn down the heat and leave in a bowl on the side.

Part two

Fill a bowl with iced water.

Bring a pan of water to boil and salt. Drop in the asparagus for 1 minute to blanch.

Take the asparagus out of the hot water and drop into the iced water, this will ensure it keeps it its beautiful colour.

Part three

Using a metal ring (or a shallow bowl if you don’t have one), scoop a large spoonful of chorizo hash mix into it and place in the hot pan.

Fry until you have a crispy bottom. Pop the asparagus in along with it until it’s charred,

At the same time, poach the egg for a few minutes until just firm.

Part four

To serve lay your hashcake on a plate or wide bowl.

Lay three spears of asparagus on top and gently pop your egg on top. I like to split it gently so the egg oozes all over the top – but thats up to you.

Lastly sprinkle some finishing salt and parsley or coriander on top and serve.

Asparagus with chorizo hash and oozey poached egg

Serves 2 | time 30 minutes

Prep 10 minutes | Cook 20 minutes

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Ingredients

3 or 4 potatoes chopped into chunks

4 inches of dried chorizo, diced

6 spears of asparagus

Good handful of parsley or coriander, chopped

2 fresh eggs

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tbsp olive oil

Big handful of mature cheddar (optional)

 

Method

Part one

Bring a pan of water to the boil, salt generously then pop the potatoes in for ten minutes until soft.

In a large cold pan, fry the small chunks of chorizo. This will allow the fat to render out which the potato will soak up later.

Once the potato is done, drain and mash lightly,

When the chorizo is hot and just starting to crisp, add the vinegar oil, oregano and potato.

Mix well, turn down the heat and leave in a bowl on the side.

 

Part two

Fill a bowl with iced water.

Bring a pan of water to boil and salt. Drop in the asparagus for 1 minute to blanch.

Take the asparagus out of the hot water and drop into the iced water, this will ensure it keeps it its beautiful colour.

 

Part three

Using a metal ring (or a shallow bowl if you don’t have one), scoop a large spoonful of chorizo hash mix into it and place in the hot pan.

Fry until you have a crispy bottom. Pop the asparagus in along with it until it’s charred,

At the same time, poach the egg for a few minutes until just firm.

 

Part four

To serve lay your hashcake on a plate or wide bowl.

Lay three spears of asparagus on top and gently pop your egg on top. I like to split it gently so the egg oozes all over the top – but thats up to you.

Lastly sprinkle some finishing salt and parsley or coriander on top and serve.

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