The flavour and texture combination in these roasted tomatoes is outrageously good – fragrant, sweet, salty and crunchy… magic. They make the perfect accompaniment to slow-roasted lamb shoulder.
- 2.2kg lamb shoulder on the bone
- 2 red onions, thickly sliced
- 4 large sprigs rosemary
- 5 sprigs thyme, or 3 sprigs thyme and 2 sprigs oregano
- 13 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1½ cups (375ml) white wine
- 18 ripe, vine-ripened tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 cup black olives (not pitted)
- ½ cup currants
- 150g soft feta, crumbled
- ½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1. Remove the lamb from the fridge half an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
2. Put the onions, 2 sprigs of rosemary and 3 sprigs of thyme in the base of a medium-sized roasting pan. Put the lamb on top, fat side up. Make 8 slits in the flesh and poke 8 cloves garlic into the holes. Pour the wine into the base of the dish and season the lamb really well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with foil and cook for 4¼ hours, then remove the foil and cook for another hour.
3. Meanwhile, snip the tomatoes into bunches of three or four and place in a medium oven dish. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle over the cumin seeds, lemon zest and chilli flakes.
4. Lightly squash the remaining 5 garlic cloves and tuck in around the tomatoes. Tuck the olives around the tomatoes with the remaining 2 sprigs thyme or oregano. Sprinkle over the currants.
5. After the uncovered lamb has been in the oven for an hour, crank up the heat to 180°C for a further 30 minutes, then add the tomatoes to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove both the lamb and tomatoes from the oven, crumble the feta over the tomatoes and return them to the oven for 7 minutes before sprinkling with the pine nuts and serving with the lamb.
Written by Sarah Tuck. Republished with permission of Stuff.co.nz. Photo credit: Aaron McLean/Stuff.