1forequarter of lamb (about 2kg), jointed (see note)400 ml eachdry white wine and chicken stock60 ml (¼ cup)extra-virgin olive oilTo serve:fresh chickpeas, blanched (optional, see note), and lemon wedgesChickpea cream1 kgdried chickpeas, soaked overnight in cold water, drained5garlic cloves200 mlhot chicken stock150 mlmild-flavoured extra-virgin olive oilJuiceof 1½ lemonsFennel salad2 cups(loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley1baby fennel bulb, shaved on a mandolin, placed in iced water until required, drained½Spanish onion, shaved on a mandolin2 tbspextra-virgin olive oil2 tbsplemon juice1 tbspfinely chopped preserved lemon rind
Preheat oven to 250C. Place lamb in a large roasting pan, pour wine, stock and oil over, season well to taste and roast until starting to turn golden (15 minutes). Reduce oven to 150C and roast, basting frequently, until meat falls from the bone (2½-3 hours).
For chickpea cream, combine chickpeas and enough cold water to cover generously in a saucepan (do not salt water), bring to the boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, adding garlic in last 20 minutes of cooking (45 minutes-1 hour). Drain, transfer to a food processor and blend until chickpeas break down. Gradually add stock and oil, process to a smooth purée, add lemon juice and 3 tsp salt and stir to combine.
For fennel salad, toss ingredients to combine in a bowl and set aside.
Spoon chickpea cream onto plates, top with lamb, fennel salad and fresh chickpeas if using. Drizzle with pan juices and serve with lemon wedges.
Note Ask your butcher to joint the lamb; this makes it easier to serve portions on the bone. Fresh chickpeas are difficult to find; when in season, they’re available from Field to Feast.
This recipe is from the April 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.