Szechuan Lamb

Szechuan lamb shoulder, coriander & mint paste

Serves 4

Szechuan sauce (see recipe below)
Coriander & mint paste (see recipe below)
Sesame flatbread (see recipe below)

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons yellow bean paste
2 tablespoons Shao Xing wine
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon Korean chilli flakes
½ teaspoon five spice powder
½ teaspoon sugar

1 x 1.5kg lamb shoulder, on the bone (you can also use lamb shanks or sliced neck on the bone)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon chilli oil
½ teaspoon toasted and ground Szechuan pepper

Small handful of coriander to serve
2 shredded spring onions to serve


In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, bean paste, Shao Xing, cumin, chilli, five spice and sugar. Take a heavy, deep roasting tray large enough to fit the lamb shoulder.
Rub the marinade all over the meat, cover with cling film and leave to marinate for a few hours or, better still, overnight in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 150°C. Remove the cling film from the lamb and add 250ml water to the roasting tray.

Cover the tray tightly with aluminium foil, then place in oven and roast for 2 hours. Turn the oven down to 110°C and cook for a further 4 hours, checking every so often and adding a little more water if the tray becomes dry.

Remove the foil for the last hour of roasting to crisp up the skin. While the lamb is roasting, make the Szechuan sauce and the coriander and mint paste.
Place the lamb in a deep dish, and pour the Szechuan sauce over the top. Finish the dish with the chilli oil and ground Szechuan pepper.

Serve with flatbread and coriander and mint paste.

Szechuan Sauce

60ml grapeseed oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
½ cup fermented chilli bean paste
2 tablespoons Shao Xing wine
225g tin chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons yellow rock sugar
3 tablespoons yellow bean paste
1/3 cup oyster sauce
4 cups chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar


In a large stainless steel saucepan, warm the grapeseed oil over a medium heat.
Add the garlic and ginger, cooking for 3-4 minutes until aromatic. Add the chilli paste and cook out for 2 minutes. Deglaze with Shao Xing wine and reduce by half. Add in the tomatoes, sugar, yellow bean paste, oyster sauce and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes.

Combine the cornflour and vinegar with 1 tablespoon of water and pour it into the sauce, stirring regularly as it thickens.

Blend the sauce until it is smooth (a hand blender is best for this).

Coriander and Mint Paste

½ avocado
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon cumin seed, toasted
½ bunch coriander, washed
½ cup loosely packed mint leaves
1½ tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt flakes

Place avocado, garlic, cumin, coriander and mint in an upright blender.  Blend until you have a rough puree. Pour the oil in slowly, blending until the sauce becomes smooth.
Season the sauce with lemon juice and salt, adding more if necessary. 


12.5g dry yeast
310g baker’s flour
200ml tepid water (36oC)

1tsp sea salt
1tsp castor sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Combine yeast and water and mix well. Let sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.

Add flour, sugar and salt, and knead the dough by hand for five minutes.

Transfer to an oiled container, covered with cling wrap and allow to prove until doubled in size.

Knock back the dough and roll into 120g balls, rolling flat into pancakes. Roll sesame seeds onto one side.

Place the rolled dough onto a tray lined with parchment and oil. Store in the fridge until ready to cook.

An hour before you plan on serving the lamb remove the dough from the fridge. Leave to prove and double in side. When ready warm a tablespoon of grapeseed oil in a frying pan. Place the flat breads in the hot pan sesame seed side down. Cook the flat bread for 3-4 minutes until golden. Carefully turn the flat bread and cook on the other side for another 3-4 mins. Serve immediately alongside the lamb and coriander paste.



Jen Flanagan