Why is the Old Dutch a dream to cook with? She looks good, she feels good, she’s not too heavy and you can almost feed a returned army in her!
All 3 of my grandfather’s fought in WW1. And 104 years ago, all three of them were lucky enough to return when SO many did not. They were shell shocked and they were sad and it was my grandmothers who loved and fed them back into good, post war health.
Slow cooked food in cast iron over the coal range was my Grandma Pirrit’s superpower, so to find myself now, over 100 years on, returning to this way of cooking feels incredibly significant. My ancestors are very much alive as I create this dish in their memory.
Meat is a treat and Moreish - a premium organic butchery - has the most amazing range of sustainably farmed organic meat on offer. Truly. You won’t find better. Then there’s Citizen Beer, who are making delicious beer using rescued unsold bread - a beautiful circular economy.
I like to make food like this the day before. It makes removing the fat from the dish way easier and also it just tastes better. As the weather cools there is no need to refrigerate. Pop the lid on the Old Dutch and move her outside for the night. She’s impenetrable!
Follow this recipe closely. You’ll have your Old Dutch pot, her lid and your Legacy Pan on the fire all at the same time. Genius. Many pans make light work.
Serve with lashings of Parsnip Parsley and Feta Mash and Crunchy Potatoes.
And raise a glass - of Citizen Beer, if that’s your fancy - in honour of those who came before.
2 rolled Moreish lamb shoulders
Lots of salt and pepper
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise
250 g free range bacon
3 leeks chopped in half inch rounds
2 medium white onions, sliced
1 large celery stalk chopped finely
2 bulbs garlic, roughly chopped
10 bay leaves
Large handful of thyme sprigs
3 T olive oil
¼ c whole mustard seed mustard
¼ c Worcestershire sauce
¼ c balsamic vinegar
1 t salt or more if you like more
Lots of black pepper.
2 cans Citizen lager
½ to 1 c beef stock
Orange zest and fresh bay leaves to serve.
Remove the lamb shoulders from the fridge an hour before cooking, pat dry with a paper towel and massage in lots of salt flakes and black pepper.
Heat both the Old Dutch pot and its lid to smoking on your stove top and spray lightly with olive oil spray. You’ll use both to sear each lamb shoulder.
Sear both shoulders till brown and sizzling all over. It’ll take about 20 minutes.
Pop the carrots around the edge of the meat so they also caramelise nicely as the lamb sears. Remove the carrots from the pan when browned.
Then do the same with the bacon. Fry it up whilst the lamb sears and remove when brown and almost crunchy.
Meanwhile, while that’s happening, in your Legacy Pan, over a low heat, sauté the leeks, onions, celery, garlic, 4 bay leaves and thyme in the 3 T olive oil, do it nice and slowly till the leeks and onions soften and start to brown.
Heat oven to 160°C fan forced, 180°C if not.
Place both shoulders in the lid of the Old Dutch.
In the Old Dutch pot, on a medium heat, heat the carrots, bacon, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and remaining bay leaves and let it all sizzle together for a couple of minutes.
Now add 1 and a half cans of the Citizen lager to the pot, bring back to a simmer and add half the leek and onion mix. Nestle the two seared lamb shoulders on top and tuck the rest of the leek and onion mix around the lamb. Pop the extra bay leaves on top and pop the lid on.
Cook for 2 hours, turning the lamb over every 30 minutes. Or every hour if you have other things to do!
Remove the lid and cook for a further hour. Turn the meat once if you wish.
Leave the lid of the Old Dutch off and let the dish cool on the bench top. Pop the lid on and leave overnight in a cool place. A layer of lamb fat will harden on the top. Remove this fat. If you are in a hurry you can miss this step, and just spoon the layer of hot fat off the top. (It’s much easier to do if you take the lamb out of the pan first)
Heat your oven to 220°C.
Remove the shoulders from the pan as you add the remaining half a can of beer and 1 c of beef stock to the fat free veggie mix and give it a gentle stir. You don’t want to break up those lovely pieces of carrot. Nestle the lamb shoulders on top and press down a little.
As the oven heats up, pop the Old Dutch on a medium heat on the stove top and bring to a simmer and keep simmering until the oven reaches the right temperature.
Pop the Old Dutch in the oven and bake for 30 minutes with the lid off. The meat will caramelise and sizzle and you’ll know it is ready when it pulls easily apart with a fork.
Take that baby sizzling to the table and taste the love in every mouthful.