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Lamb with apricots

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
1.6 - 2 kg (3 1/2 - 4 1/2 lb shoulder of lamb, boned
100 g (4 oz) dried apricots, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
75 g (3 oz) fresh breadcrumbs
15 ml (1 tbsp) freshly chopped parsley
50 g (2 oz) walnuts, chopped
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
30 ml (2 tbls) lemon juice
juice of 2 oranges
300 ml (10 fl oz) beef stock, home-made or from a cube
15 ml (1 tbsp) cornflour

method

1. Pour 50 ml (2 fl oz) water over the apricots and leave to soak for 2 hours. Bring the lamb to room temperature.

2. Saute the onion in the butter, then mix with the apricots, breadcrumbs, parsley, walnuts and cinnamon.. Season to taste. Heat the oven to 200C (400F) gas 6.

3. Lay the boned shoulder skin side down and season. Push the stuffing into the hole left by the bones. Draw the meat in and secure the ends with skewers.

4. Mix the lemon and orange juices and pour over the lamb. Roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes, basting occasionally. Reduce the heat to 180°C (350°F) gas 4 and continue cooking for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 15 minutes.

5. Lift the lamb onto a warmed serving dish and remove the skewers. Leave to 'settle' while you make the sauce: pour off the fat from the pan juices and add the stock. Blend the cornflour with a little water and stir this into the pan. Season to taste and bring to the boil. Boil, stirring, until thickened. Garnish the lamb with watercress and serve with new potatoes and the sauce.

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