During the time of our 'skaapie night' parties (roughly translated ' lamb night') the cut I most looked forward to cooking was the delicious shoulder.
I know you're wondering about the skaapie nights..... every 2nd month we'd place orders for whole and half lambs with a wonderful couple, Andre and Merna, who have a farm far away close to Uppington in Kennard.
They'd carefully slaughter, cut and pack all the bulk orders, load their bakkie and long trailer and drive through the night to deliver the much anticipated lambs.
That evening we would have an open house, people would arrive to collect their orders- we'd eat and drink the evening through, generally celebrating the thought of our full freezers packed with free-range Karoo lamb.
But back to the Arabian lamb with lentils, from that delightful book "The foods of love' by Max de Roche.
The chapter is entitled 'On the seductive and sensual properties of meat'- slow cook your lamb like the recipe below and you'll have few who argue.
I've adapted a bit- here's mine.....
Whole shoulder of lamb
a few cloves of garlic
cup of uncooked brown lentils
4 celery stalks-chopped
thyme and rosemary
yoghurt and mint to garnish
Take a big cast iron pot and brown your shoulder nicely, add garlic, salt, rosemary, thyme, celery, then add wine, stock or water- I usually do a combination, to almost cover the shoulder and simmer gently for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs turning when you remember.
In another pot place your lentils, water, the rest of the rosemary and thyme, garlic and celery and cook until soft, approx 30/40 minutes.
When the shoulder has been going for more than about an hour and starting to look tender, I add the drained lentils along with the herbs etc to the shoulder pot and cook together until the lamb is falling off the bone.
Eat in shallow bowls with a spoon and fork, drizzled with yoghurt and garnished with chopped mint