I do love anything Middle Eastern, the flavours are delicious and so easy to cook. The first time I cooked this middle eastern lamb, I added vegetables and chickpeas to the slow cooker and served it with cous cous and natural yoghurt. Since then, I have played around with it a bit more and if I have a bit more time, I will use it to make home made souvlaki.
Most slow cooker/mixed meals usually get complaints from the kids before they have tasted it, but once they’ve tried it, usually they eat it, unless I accidentally add too much chilli. This lamb, when served as a souvlaki is a winner – it seems that anything that is served like a pizza (a round vessel topped with anything – think pancakes, soft shelled tacos, wraps) goes down a treat.
To complement this lamb and to fill out the souvlaki, I will always make a homemade hommus or tzatziki (a bought one is fine as well), a tomato based salad (tomato, leaves of some sort, cucumber, red onion, garlic, feta, halloumi, etc) and some roast vegetables – today it was pumpkin, eggplant and zucchini.
I have tried making my own pita bread before, which works well, but it takes time and I find that bought lebanese pitas work really well.
- 500g lamb shoulder
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- 2 tsp preserved lemon, finely chopped
- 2 tbs coriander leaves, chopped
- 3/4 cup water
- 8 small lebanese pitas
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
- 300g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1cm slices
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 cm slices
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbs tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 a punnet of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 50g halloumi, cut into 1cm slices
- 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
- Olive oil
- In a small bowl combine paprika, cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon and fennel seeds. Mix to combine.
- Rub spice mix into lamb and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat a medium frypan over medium heat and add the lamb and brown for 1-2 minutes on each side, no longer. Place lamb into the slow cooker.
- Add garlic, orange juice and zest, preserved lemon and coriander leaves to slow cooker.
- Place the water into the frypan that the lamb was seared in, mix gently to collect any remaining flavour and pour into the slow cooker. Place the lid on and cook on low for 6 hours.
- To make the hommus, place the chickpeas into a food processor and pulse to break them up. Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and olive oil and blend for about 30 seconds or until smooth. It should be of a smooth spreadable consistency, so if too thick, add some water. Refrigerate until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the pumpkin, zucchini and eggplant into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and mix to coat. Place onto baking tray and cook for 40 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool and then slice into 1cm slices and place into a serving bowl. Set aside until needed.
- To make the salad, combine baby spinach, tomato and red onion in a bowl.
- Grill the halloumi by heating a small frypan over medium heat, add olive oil and halloumi slices and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned. Once cooked, remove from the heat, roughly chop and add to the salad. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss to coat.
- Once the lamb is cooked, use 2 forks to break up the lamb.
- Serve lamb with lemon wedges, roast vegetables, tomato salad and hommus in pita bread.