Scrumptious lamb, slow-cooked atop cabbage that has softened while baking in all the juices is just one of the autumn dishes I look forward to the most this time of year. The combination is simple. No fuss. Just allowing the flavors of the ingredients to shine.
September is the month for lamb in Norway with the last Thursday of the month dedicated to the national dish, fårikål (lamb and cabbage stew). You can find my recipe for fårikål here. This year, though, I wanted to cook my lamb and cabbage a little differently – a whole lamb shoulder roasted slowly in the oven resting on a bed of cabbage.
The result is a flavor reminiscent of fårikål, but the dish itself is a little more refined when presented on the table.
With apples also being so abundant at this time of year, I wanted to incorporate them in the menu as well. Just a little sautéing in a pan with red onions and you’ve got a delicious side dish that can be paired with so many other dishes.
Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder and Cabbage with Pan-Fried Apples
(Serves 4 to 6)
For the lamb and cabbage:
- 1 medium-large white cabbage
- Good quality rapeseed or olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lamb shoulder (about 4 1/2 pounds or 2 kilos)
- 1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
For the pan-fried apples:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 large apples, cored and sliced
- 1 small red onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Cut the cabbage into wedges. Place the wedges in a large baking dish (9 x 13-inch / 23 x 33 cm) and drizzle with a little oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Rub the lamb shoulder with some oil, salt and pepper. Cut a few shallow slashes into the fat-side of the shoulder and tuck some sliced garlic cloves inside. Toss any remaining cloves on top of the shoulder. Place the lamb on top of the cabbage.
Cover with foil and bake for 3 hours.
After 3 hours remove the foil and cook for 20 minutes longer until nicely browned.
While the lamb is finishing cooking, prepare the pan-fried apples. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and oil. When hot, add the apples, red onions, rosemary, salt and a couple grinds of pepper and sauté for 10-15 minutes, until the apples and onions are softened (but not mushy).
Serve the lamb and cabbage alongside the pan-fried apples and mashed potatoes. Enjoy!