Practically falling off the bone, the tender meat on Merrilees Parker?s slow-cooked lamb shanks is certainly worth the wait.


  • For the lamb

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tsp dried ginger

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 tsp ground coriander

  • 2 tsp turmeric

  • Juice and zest of an un-waxed lemon

  • 1 small bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stems kept

  • 1 small shoulder of lamb

  • Warm aioli

  • 1/2 head of garlic

  • 1 free-range egg yolks

  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

  • 75ml light virgin olive oil

  • Chunky tomato salsa

  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped

  • 1/2 red onion, very finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf fresh parsley

  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves left over from above

  • 1 tbsp lime juice

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 sheets of labna bread or 4 flour tortillas

  • To serve

  • Small handful rocket

  • 1 small cucumber cut into 8 lengthways

  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Pre-heat the oven to 160degC/Gas 3/Fan 140. Place the olive oil, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, juice and zest of the lemon, the stalks of the coriander and a good pinch of salt into a blender and blitz to from a smooth paste. Put the shoulder of lamb onto the two large pieces of foil and make lots of incisions with a knife. Next rub the paste all over. Add a couple of tablespoons of water then seal the foil leaving a little pocket of air above the lamb. Place onto a baking sheet and cook for 4 hours.

  • 2.

    After 4 hours open the foil and baste the lamb.  Put the garlic bulb into the oven.  Cook for a further hour when the lamb should be meltingly tender and the garlic soft. Meanwhile place all the ingredients for the salsa into a mixing bowl, season well and mix thoroughly to combine.  Turn off the oven but leave the lamb to rest inside.

  • To make the aioli: :

  • 1.

    Gently heat the olive oil. Squeeze out the really soft insides of the garlic cloves into a blender.  Add the egg yolks and some salt and pepper. With the motor running add the olive oil to make a smooth thick sauce.

  • 2.

    Place into a heavy-based saucepan so you can heat through before serving (this could also be done in with a small whisk and a bowl).

  • To serve: :

  • 1.

    Heat the bread in the oven by wrapping in a clean damp tea towel.  Shred the lamb using two forks. Give each person a piece of bread smear over the garlic sauce, top with some lamb, a good spoonful of the salsa and finish with some rocket and a couple of slices of the cucumber.  Wrap and eat immediately.

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