Although this one pot dish requires relatively low input, it delivers substantial flavour. It will fill your house with the most delicious aroma, heightening the anticipation of the meal to come. Home-made harissa elevates the flavours, but there’s several excellent shop-bought varieties that will do a perfectly good job. Cauliflower and chickpeas are a combination best known in Indian cuisine, however it shines here equally with the warm backdrop of North African spicing.
Delicious with hogget, this recipe works equally well with lamb and mutton shoulder.
Slow roast hogget shoulder, harissa, chickpeas & cauliflower
2 onions, sliced around ½ cm thick
2 tins of chickpeas
1 tsp runny honey
2 tbsp fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
- For the harissa
10 long red chillies, split lengthways, ¾ of the seeds removed, roughly chopped
3 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 red pepper, blackened and peeled, seeds removed, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tsp tomato purée
1 heaped tsp of sweet, smoked paprika
1 tsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
- For the marinade
4 tbsp harissa
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp of ground coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
- For the cauliflower
20g of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small cauliflower broken into small florets
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp of turmeric
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
- First make the harissa. Toast the spices in a dry pan for a couple of minutes, ensuring they are stirred continuously, then pound in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Next, either continue in the mortar or transfer to a good blender (or use a stick blender in a suitable bowl), add the remaining ingredients, apart from the olive oil, and pound or blend to a fairly smooth purée. Finally stir in the olive oil and mix thoroughly. Taste a little, add a touch more vinegar or a pinch of salt as required.
- Remove the lamb from the packaging and pat dry. Score the fat in a cross-cross pattern, ensuring not to slash too deeply. Combine the marinade ingredients and rub all over the lamb, working into the score marks. Whilst it can be cooked immediately, a couple of hours or even overnight would be ideal.
- Take a heavy, ideally cast-iron pan, with a lid and sufficiently deep to accommodate the hogget (a roasting tray with a tight-fitting foil lid would be an alternative). Place the sliced onions in the bottom, the hogget on top and pour in the stock. Pop the lid on and place in the oven set at 110°C.
- Roast for 6 hours, basting well every 3-4 times during the cooking period. A splash of boiling water can be added if required but should not be necessary. An overnight cook is also possible – in this case, a piece of baking parchment, placed snugly on top of the hogget, will help retain moisture in the absence of basting.
- Add the honey to the cooking juices, then add the chickpeas to the pan, shaking to submerge and distribute them evenly. Return the pan to the oven for a further hour’s cooking.
- For the cauliflower, place all the ingredients in a roomy bowl. toss well to coat the cauliflower with the spices.
- Place a good quality, preferably non-stick pan, over a medium high heat. Add the oil and butter, allow to foam, then add the cauliflower. Allow to cook undisturbed – you are looking to achieve a good, dark brown colour without scorching the spices too heavily. Turn to colour all sides of the cauliflower.
- Add the cauliflower to the pan 15 minutes before the cooking time is up, to finish cooking in the aromatic lamb juices. Shake the pan to partially submerge and evenly distribute the florets.
- Remove from the oven and stir in most of the fresh coriander, retaining a couple of leaves for some vibrancy at the table.
- Allow to rest for 30 minutes, lid on, or make in advance and reheat. Garnish with a little chopped coriander and serve with a bowl of harissa on the side.