Lamb shoulder, a traditional African dish, – the poorer, less desirable cousin of the leg – has a reputation for being tricky to cook and laborious. In fact, the shoulder has to be one of the most forgiving and versatile meats – and by far the most delicious. To make the most of its amazing qualities, marinate the lamb for a few hours and then slow-cook the meat. Over time, the layers of fat reduce to sticky, unctuous, lip-smacking perfection and help keep the meat moist, so it’s great to reinvent the next day and beyond … Serves 1 lamb shoulder (about 3kg), bone in, fat side scored with a very sharp knife 50ml olive oil 3 tbsp smoked paprika 4 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed 2 tbsp ground cumin 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 50ml red wine vinegar Salt and black pepper For the dressing 100ml buttermilk 20ml white wine vinegar ½ bunch fresh coriander, chopped 1. Lay out a large double layer of foil and put the lamb on top. Pour the oil over the meat, then rub in plenty of seasoning, the paprika, coriander, cumin and garlic. Then drizzle with vinegar. Massage the spices into the meat. Wrap up the foil to completely cover, then put into the fridge for at least 5 hours, or overnight. 2. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Roast the lamb on an oven tray for 2 hours with the foil on. Remove the foil, baste the meat with juices and cook for 1 hour longer to caramelise. Check the meat – you should be able to easily pull the flesh away from the bone. If it is still firm, turn the temperature down to 150C/300F/gas mark 2 and cook for a further 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Season to taste. 4. Remove the bone, then serve the shoulder whole at the table for people to help themselves, with the dressing. The creamy curry: Lamb pasanda with dal Pasanda is such a comforting curry and appeals to all palates – rich, delicious and exotic, but also very mild and accessible. If you can manage to organise an overnight marinade then great, otherwise a couple of hours or so will suffice. – TheGuardian.