Serves 6

 

Step 1: Smoked Paprika and Cumin Oil

Toast the cumin in a hot pan until smoky and popping. Remove from the heat and grind in a mortal and pestle or spice grinder. Place the cumin, paprika and grapeseed oil in a small glass jar and seal. Shake up the oil and allow to sit overnight.  Store in a cool place out of the sun.

 

Step 2: Al’s Spice Rub

Mix together all the spices until incorporated. Store in a airtight container.

 

Step 3: Slow Roasted Merino Shoulder

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.

On a clean chopping board, using a sharp knife, butterfly the shoulder into an even, thick piece that will be easy to roll up. Season the meat with about  a ¼ cup of spice rub. Smear the smoked garlic over the meat and rub the lemon zest across it.  Season with a little salt and pepper.

Using two hands, roll the lamb shoulder, like you would roll a magazine. Once you have an even, tight roll, tie up with the butchers twine. Rub the outside of the roll with the remaining spice mix.

Place a large skillet on a medium/high heat and add a liberal amount of canola oil to it. Sear the merino evenly on all sides until golden, then transfer into a suitable sized ovenproof dish. Pour the chicken stock into the dish, then return to the heat to bring stock to boil. Cover the dish tightly with tinfoil then place in the oven. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hrs until the merino is extremely tender. Top up the stock if you feel it is drying up during the cooking process. Remove the cooked shoulder from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate the shoulder until firm.

 

Step 4: Israeli Couscous

Place a skillet on medium-low heat. Add canola oil and sauté the red onion, chilli, currants, dried apricots and spices together until the onion has softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place the chicken stock, butter and bay leaf in a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the couscous and stir through. Cover saucepan and remove from the heat. Check after 10 minutes to see if stock has been absorbed and the couscous is tender. Fluff the couscous with a fork, and then stir through your onion mix. Cover and set aside.

 

Step 5: Yoghurt and Feta

In a small mixing bowl, combine the yoghurt and feta together by stirring gently. Refrigerate until required.

 

Step 6: Cooking and Serving

Heat a large ovenproof skillet to a medium-high temperature.

Remove the string from your merino, and cut into 6 even sized portions. Add a little canola oil to the skillet and brown the merino portions lightly, then place in the oven to heat through.

Heat a griddle or skillet to high heat. Toss the zucchini, olive oil together in a large mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Char the zucchini on the griddle until you get dark charred lines, turn and repeat. Its important not to overcook the zucchini as it will become mushy. Return to the bowl and set aside.

Remove the cover from the couscous and fluff it again with a fork. Stir through the chopped mint and coriander, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Place a generous spoonful of couscous in the centre of 6 warm plates. Place a small pile of zucchini beside the couscous. Remove the tender merino from the oven and place a portion on the couscous. Spoon a little apricot chutney over the lamb, a little yoghurt on the side, and lastly drizzle over the smoked paprika and cumin oil to finish.