Slow Roast Soay Lamb with Preserved Lemons
The first time I made this dish was also the first time I made Soay lamb. We had just gotten our first sheep back from the butcher and we were hosting an event. In drawing up the menu, I was going to smoke some beef from our friend, when Kevin urged me to think about serving lamb. It was a farm to table dinner and it doesn’t get more farm to table than Soay sheep grown here at Gartur.
As I said in yesterday’s post, I was never a huge fan of lamb. It is so strong tasting and fatty, I just never developed much of an urge to cook with it, but my commitment to growing our own and living as lightly on the land as possible, meant that I need to quickly get over it. Not really sure what to do, but looking around the kitchen at what we had, I decided to try thyme and Lemon to go with the lamb. I wanted something to go with the slightly Mediterranean theme of the meal and, importantly, sit well with the goat’s cheese we had made for the occasion.
This recipe ticked all the boxes - the slow roasted lamb fell apart, while the brightness of the thyme and preserved lemons punctuated the gamey flavour of the lamb. Its become a regular dish around here - usually served with couscous and roasted cauliflower and chickpeas.
Soay meat really is other worldly. It is so much better than commercial lamb, I don’t consider it the same thing at all. Where commercial lamb is fatty and tastes strong, soay is leaner and has more subtle flavours. It has a more gamey flavour is is closer to venison than lamb, in my opinion.
2kg rolled shoulder or leg of lamb (boneless - both have great flavour, being hard working muscles - I have used leg here, but shoulder would work as well)
3 preserved lemons
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of thyme (either fresh or dried)
Pre-heat the oven to 180c
Unroll the lamb, saving any butchers twine or mesh to re-roll your lamb.
Slice the lemons into 1cm thick slices and distribute throughout teh opened cut of meat
Roughly chop the garlic and spread throughout the inside of the cut as well
Sprinkle the thyme and salt
Re-roll the cut and secure with your retained twine or mesh.
In an oven-safe pan or lidded roasting tin, add a small amount of oil to the bottom and heat. Sear the outside of the roast.
Cover and bake for 2.5-3 hours or until the meat is falling apart when pulled with a fork.
To serve - gently pull apart the meat and drizzle some of the cooking juices over it to serve.