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Recipe: Crispy lamb, labneh, mint, red onion and pomegranate

03 June 2016
Recipe: Crispy lamb, labneh, mint, red onion and pomegranate

Serves 4

  • 1 whole lamb breast, about 2kg, cut in half
  • 500ml lamb stock
  • 1 pomegranate
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Small handful of mint leaves
  • Small handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 160g labneh (see below)
  • Chargrilled flatbread or toasted sourdough bread, to serve
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the labneh, simply whisk in one teaspoon of salt to every 500g of full-fat natural Greek yogurt (don't be tempted to use a fat-free version as it won't be the same). Pour the mixture into cheesecloth suspended over a bowl (you can also use a large coffee filter) to allow the excess liquid to drip through. Depending how thick you want your labneh, leave it overnight for medium-firm or three days for super-firm.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Season the lamb breast with salt and pepper and put into a large roasting tray. Pour over the lamb stock, cover tightly with foil and cook in the oven for two to three hours, or until the meat easily comes away from the bone.

Once cooked, remove the lamb breasts from the stock and allow to cool. Keep the lamb stock as you can use it another day - simply pour into small tubs and freeze.

While the lamb cools, remove the seeds from the pomegranate. Cut it in half, hold it over a bowl, cut side down, on your spread palm. Hit the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon or rolling pin so that the seeds drop out into the bowl. If you have trouble, try turning the half inside out and gently coax the remaining seeds out with your fingers.

Once the lamb breast is cool enough to handle, remove all the meat from the bones in large chunks and set aside. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a generous glug of oil. Add the chilli flakes and then fry the lamb until nice and crisp, giving it a pinch of salt as it cooks.

When the lamb is crisp, transfer it to a large bowl. Tear in the mint and parsley and add the sliced onion. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add another good splash of olive oil and half the pomegranate seeds and season with salt and pepper.

Toss everything together with your hands and then gently coax the salad out of the bowl with your fingers on to individual plates. Spoon a dollop of labneh on to a third of the plate and finish by scattering the entire dish with pomegranate seeds. Serve with chargrilled flatbread or toasted sourdough.

Recipe from Ducksoup Cookbook by Clare Lattin and Tom Hill (reviewed here). Photography by Kristin Perers

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