food, Recipes

Pulled-lamb tacos

Georgia East



Pulled-lamb tacos with

pineapple salsa and jalapeño créma

Prep time: 1h + 5h marinating / Cook time: 4h / Assembly: 20 min

For the slow-roasted lamb

  • 3T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1t dried oreganum
  • 3t fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 1kg organic lamb shoulder, bone in
  • 5 to 6 anchovy fillets, torn into small pieces
  • 1 to 2 full garlic bulbs, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 100ml water
  • Coarse sea salt and black pepper

Create a marinade by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, zest and the herbs in a bowl. Season to taste.

Place the lamb shoulder in a large roasting dish and, using a smooth-bladed knife, make incisions of 1 to 2cm all over (you may need to enlarge the pockets with the back of a teaspoon). Poke small amounts of anchovy into each pocket, followed by a slice of garlic, and tuck any extra garlic into the shoulder's natural folds or crevices. Using a brush, baste the meat with the marinade, cover and allow the flavours to develop for at least 5 hours, but preferably overnight.

Heat the oven to 220°C. Once the lamb is marinated, pour the white wine and water into the roasting pan – this ensures that it cooks slowly and retains moisture. Place the uncovered lamb in the oven to caramelise for 20 minutes before removing it and covering with foil. Reduce the heat to 120°C, return to the oven, and allow to roast for a further 3 hours and 40 minutes, occasionally checking the liquid level in the pan – it will thicken while roasting.

Remove the roast from the oven, cool slightly and pull the lamb with two forks (it should fall apart easily) – discard any cartilage, bone or fat. The liquid in the bottom of the pan will provide a sticky, garlic-rich sauce to bind the meat. Keep warm until ready to serve.

For the pineapple salsa and jalapeño créma

  • 1 small pineapple, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 2t seeded red chilli, finely diced
  • Coarse, ground salt and black pepper
  • 100ml plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2T pickled green jalapeños, sliced
  • A handful of fresh coriander stems

In a sieve, drain the pineapple to remove excess liquid. Mix the diced onion with half the lime juice, zest and red chilli, and season to taste. Allow the salsa to stand so the flavours develop. To make the créma, blend the yoghurt with the remaining lime juice and zest,  jalapeño slices, coriander stems and a little salt until smooth.

To assemble the tacos

  • 12 to 24 ready-made flour or corn mini tortillas (we used cocktail rotis)
  • 1 small red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 small iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
  • 2 to 3 ripe avocados, peeled and thinly sliced
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves

In a large pan, dry-fry the tortillas until lightly browned, then assemble in a line. Top with equal amounts of red cabbage and iceberg lettuce, a few slices of avocado and about a tablespoon of the pulled lamb mixture. Arrange the tacos on a serving dish, top each with a heaped teaspoon of pineapple salsa and drizzle over the jalapeño créma. Garnish with a few coriander leaves and an optional splash of your favourite hot sauce. Serve immediately.

SERVES 6