Alaçatı Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder

I pride myself on knowing how to slow roast a lamb shoulder that’s full of flavour and falling off the bone. But I was truly humbled by a wonderfully moist six hour lamb served in a restaurant in Alaçatı. Succulent and cooked with loads of garlic and rosemary. I found out the secret and have adapted the recipe, it never fails


1 Shoulder of Lamb, bone in
2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon zested & juiced (plus 1 Lemon quartered to serve)
Pinch Salt (to taste)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp ground Cumin
3 tsp ground Coriander
Pinch Chilli Flakes (to taste)
Dash of Balsamic Vinegar


The day before, mix the Olive Oil, Salt, Lemon Juice & Zest, Cumin, Coriander and Chilli Flakes in a bowl. Rub this mixture all over the lamb, pop it into a zip-lock bag or wrap in cling film & place in the fridge overnight.

Take the Lamb out of the fridge at least 1 hour before cooking time to bring it to room temperature.

Turn the Oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced)

Place the Lamb in a Le Creuset casserole dish (or similar iron casserole dish with a lid), large enough to hold the Lamb. With the lid OFF put the Lamb into the 200°C Oven for 20-30 minutes, to sear the Lamb. Then put the casserole lid ON and turn the oven back to 120°C (there will be variation subject to your Oven) for 3 hours depending on the size of the Lamb Shoulder (using a fork check to see if the meat easily pulls away from the bone, the longer the better). When the Lamb easily pulls away (almost falls apart) it is done. Remove the casserole from the oven, keeping the lid on and leave to rest.

Pour off the pan juices into a small saucepan. Skim the oil and return to the stove top to reduce. Taste and add a dash of Balsamic Vinegar and/or Lemon Juice and/or Salt, to taste.

To serve

Place the Lamb in the centre of a large serving dish, scattered with Lemon wedges). Accompanied by a green leaf salad, such as Cos, with lemon vinaigrette or perhaps a Greek Salad (cos lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and crumbled fetta) and boiled new potatoes. Pour the Gravy into a Jug and let your guests help themselves.


Serves 4


250 gm minced pork
10 large spring onions, cut into 2cm lengths, if very large slice in half lengthwise
8 long Asian eggplant/aubergine or 4 medium sized European eggplant, cut into 3-5cm chunks
6 garlic cloves, depends on your taste, crushed
6 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 level tsp salt, to taste
1 tsp sugar, to taste
10 tbsp oil


1.   Heat the 8 tbsp oil in a wok, add the eggplant and stir fry until it begins to soften and turn a golden colour, do not overcook the eggplant as it will go too soft. Place the cooked eggplant in a dish and set aside.
2.   Place the remaining oil into the wok  add the onion and stir fry until half cooked
3.   Add the crushed garlic and stir for 30 seconds
4.   Add the pork and stir frying until cooked
5.   Add the salt and sugar
6.   Keep stir frying and add the oyster sauce and cooked eggplant
7.   Taste and add more salt or sugar if required.

Serve with Steamed Rice.

PANANG CURRY (Gaeng Panang)

Serves 4


3-4 tbsp Panang curry paste, to taste
400g sliced pork or chicken or beef
4 tbsp ground roasted peanuts
3-4 cups coconut cream, to taste
3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste
3 tsp palm sugar, to taste
3 thinly sliced fresh red chillies
2  tsp thinly sliced kaffir lime leaf, stems removed


1.    Add 2 cups of coconut cream into the wok over low heat. Bring it just to the boil until the oil surfaces
2.    Add the Panang curry paste and stir well until fragrant and the red oil surfaces
3.    Add chicken or pork or beef, keep stirring until cooked then add the remaining coconut cream, 1 or 2 cups to taste, and mix well.
4.    Add peanuts, fish sauce and palm sugar. Then sprinkle kaffir lime leaf and red chilli and remove the heat.

Serve with Steamed Rice

Vietnamese Aubergine/Eggplant Stew


Aubergine in Vietnam was a wonderfully pleasant surprise. Imagine the velvety texture in your mouth with flavours that scream “Vietnam”. I discovered the Vietnamese method to preparing this stew and it now appears regularly on our dining table

Serves 4


•    200gr peeled aubergine cut in strips
•    1/2 lt of vegetable oil
•    1/2 lt of boiling water
•    2 table spoon of soya sauce
•    2 tea spoon of sugar
•    1 tea soon of paprika powder
•    1/2 tea spoon of pepper
•    50gr spring onion finely chopped


Step 1
Fry the aubergines in hot oil until they change color. Drain the oil.

Step 2
Put the aubergines back in a frying pan, add boiling water and boil for 10 seconds, then drain the water. This way you’ll get rid of the oil in excess.

Step 3
Marinade the aubergines in the clay pot with spring onion, paprika, pepper, sugar and soya sauce for minimum 30 minutes.

Step 4
Cook the aubergines in the clay pot for 5 minutes at medium heat.

….Then serve with rice and enjoy.