I think this was possibly a Nigella Lawson recipe once. But it's become quite a family favourite and has probably undergone some changes and additions. My mother seldom cooks the same recipe more than once, but this is one of those invisible elastic band recipes. Once threatened or should I say promised it's guaranteed to get everybody around the table.
1 shoulder of lamb (approx 2 1/2 kg / 5 1/2 lb)
4 shallots (halved not peeled)
6 cloves garlic
1 carrot (peeled and halved)
500 ml boiling water
1 small handful freshly chopped fresh mint
1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 1/275ºF.
2. On the hob, brown the lamb, fat-side down, in a large roasting tin. Remove when nicely browned across its middle (you won't get much more than this) and set aside while you fry the vegetables briefly. You won't need to add any more fat , sprinkled with the salt, cook gently for a couple of minutes. Pour the water over and then replace the lamb, this time fat-side up. Let the liquid in the pan come to a bubble, then cover with foil and put in the preheated oven.
3. Now just leave it while you do whatever else you had planned for the day. Or even pop it in the oven in the evening and let it cook over night. But the point is, at this temperature, nothing's going to go wrong with the lamb.
4. If you want to cook the lamb the day you're going to eat it, heat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3/325ºF and give it 5 hours or so.
5. About an hour before you want to eat, remove the lamb from the tin to a large plate or carving board - not that it needs carving; the deal here is that it's unfashionably overcooked, falling to tender shreds at the touch of a fork. This is the best way to deal with shoulder of lamb.
6. To finish the lamb salad, simply pull it to pieces with a couple of forks on a large plate. Sprinkle with more salt and some freshly chopped mint, then cut the pomegranate in half and dot with the seeds from one half.
7. Take the other half and squeeze the pink juices over the warm shredded meat. Take to the table and serve.