Gin Pulled Lamb with Thyme & Alcoholic Apricots
An unlikely match, but floral juniper flavours complement sweet apricots really well
It is an easy dish to prepare, you just need to season it well enough and have enough patience to roast the lamb for up to eight hours until the meat falls off the bone. When buying lamb, make sure that it has been responsibly sourced by talking to your butcher – buy the best quality that you can afford and is available to you. Jackfruit is also a remarkable vegan substitute for lamb, as it ‘pulls apart’ well.
- 300g apricots
- a bottle of really nice gin
- 1.5kg lamb shoulder or jackfruit
- 2 onions
- 3 garlic cloves
- a bunch of thyme sprigs
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 500ml water
- 150g unsalted butter
- lots of olive oil
- In a bowl, cover the apricots with 375ml of the gin and leave to infuse overnight. The next day, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 6.
- Arrange the lamb on a large baking tray, add the onions, garlic, half the thyme sprigs and season well. Add the water, cover with kitchen foil and roast in the oven for four hours until the meat starts to fall off the bone.
- Add the butter, a generous glug of gin and the rest of the thyme to the roasted lamb. Turn the oven down to 140C/275F/gas 1⁄2. Return to the oven for a further three to four hours, mixing every hour so that the fat is evenly distributed.
- Add the marinated apricots about 20 minutes before the meat is ready so that they heat up but don’t burn.
- When the meat pulls apart easily, add olive oil, a splash more gin and serve.
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