“Gorgeous sticky tomatoes and zingy pickle add a wonderful brightness to this dish, but the super-tender, melt-in-your-mouth lamb is the real star of the show. Delicately spiced and cooked so slowly it falls right off the bone, then shredded into homemade flatbreads, this one’s definitely a winner. ”
Preheat the oven to full whack (240ºC/475ºF/gas 9).
Using a sharp knife, score a criss-cross pattern into any fat on the lamb shoulder.
Pound the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, the saffron and a good pinch of sea salt and white pepper in a pestle and mortar. Strip in the rosemary leaves and 2 thyme sprigs, finely grate in the orange zest, then muddle in the softened butter until combined.
Rub all over the lamb, then tightly wrap in a layer of damp greaseproof paper and tin foil. Put into a roasting tray and place on the top shelf of the oven.
Immediately reduce the temperature to 130ºC/250ºF/gas ½, and cook for 7 hours, or until falling off the bone.
Halve the tomatoes and place in a large roasting tray with the bulb of garlic. Strip in the remaining thyme leaves, drizzle with oil and season with salt and black pepper.
Place in the oven, underneath the lamb, for the last 4 hours, so the tomatoes are super-soft and caramelized.
To make the pickle, finely slice the cabbage, then roughly chop the top leafy half of the parsley. Place in a large bowl and mix well with the vinegar and cloves.
For the flatbreads, mix the flour, a good pinch of salt and 120ml of cold water into a dough. Knead on a clean flour-dusted surface for 2 minutes, then divide into 8 balls. Roll each into a thin round.
In batches, cook the flatbreads in a large non-stick frying pan for 1 minute on each side, or until cooked but not coloured. Keep warm, wrapped in foil as you go.
Shred the lettuce, then halve the pomegranate and, holding one half cut side down in your fingers, gently bash it with the back of a wooden spoon so all the seeds tumble out, and repeat.
Decant the harissa into a bowl and season to perfection. Pick the mint leaves, pound in a pestle and mortar, then mix with the yoghurt and vinegar.
Once ready, remove the tomatoes from the oven, squeeze the soft garlic out of their skins and mix. Using two forks, shred the lamb, removing and discarding the bones and any wobbly bits.
Serve everything in the middle of the table and let everyone build their own delicious flatbread.