Easter is coming!

Christian cultures around the world celebrate Easter with many different recipes, and one thing’s for certain, there is always a luscious feast on Sunday with some very special meat and the Pope himself always eats lamb.

The origins of lamb as a symbol of Easter come from ancient Jewish traditions where a lamb was sacrificed at Passover, and then when Jesus sacrificed himself he was called the lamb of God.

This tradition is very important in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, where the lamb is also a strong symbol for new life in Spring – plus it’s incredibly delicious and a real treat for a special celebration.

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Today we pay respect to these traditions by slow cooking the lamb with some middle eastern flavours – dukkah is full of nuts and spices, and the pomegranate molasses will balance the richness of the meat. The pulled meat is served on a Bakers Delight Turkish roll, which is perfectly matched in flavour, and will absorb all those yummy cooking juices.

There are many other symbols of Easter used in cooking, including eggs, birds/hens, bunnies, carrots, and chocolate… all of which can give us amazing inspiration for cooking at Easter!

For today’s dish I have a few SECRETS for cooking the most delicious slow cooked lamb:

  • Choose the right cut for slow cooking, such as shoulder, shank, or neck
  • The fattier the better
  • Choose cuts of meat on the bone for more flavour
  • Long slow cooking is best – pop it in the oven overnight to save time
  • Add some acidity to the braising liquid or marinade to help break down the meat
  • Make sure the dish never dries out during cooking, always add a little water

Slow cooked dukkah lamb on Turkish rolls with pickled carrot and herb mayo

Serves 6

  • 6 Bakers Delight Turkish Bread Rolls
  • 2 handfuls salad greens

For the pickled carrot:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 heaped Tbsp salt
  • 2 heaped Tbsp sugar
  • 500g carrots

For the lamb:

  • ½ cup dukkah
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 shoulder of lamb, bone in (about 1.8kg)

For the herb mayo:

  • 350ml mayo
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • ½ bunch mint
  1. For the pickled carrot, place water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a pot on high heat. Stir until salt and sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Peel carrots and discard peelings. Use your peeler to cut “ribbons” of carrot. Place carrots and cooled pickling mix in a glass or plastic container, mix well, refrigerate overnight or for up to 1 week.
  2. Place dukkah, water and pomegranate molasses in a large oven proof pot or deep baking dish, stir until combined, then add lamb. Cover snugly with baking paper, then cover with a tight fitting lid (or very tightly with foil – make sure you check throughout cooking that all the water hasn’t evaporated). Bake at 150C for 8 hours. Once cooked, shred using two forks and mix meat with cooking juices, discard bone. Season well.
  3. For the herb mayo, finely chop herbs and mix into mayo.
  4. Slice Bakers Delight Turkish Bread Rolls in half and toast or grill until lightly browned. Strain carrots from pickling liquid.
  5. Arrange the rolls with salad greens, pulled lamb, pickled carrot and herb mayo. Serve hot.