There'd probably be a punch up about who first baked bread and covered it with toppings. Probably, as with everything it was invented in ancient Egypt. Or China. Or Greece. I bet it wasn't Italy and certainly not Hawaii. It doesn't really matter though, it's a great idea. A hoi sin and duck covered pizza, as I once saw advertised, is not. What kind of psychopath comes up with these things?
It's hard to beat the crisp crust and soft dough of a traditional Italian pizza and it's near impossible to recreate at home. Flatbreads, however, are much simpler and delicious in their own right. They take hardly any time to make either. And this recipe, once you've got the lamb in the oven pretty much takes care of itself. If you want, you can leave the lamb cooking overnight on a very low heat, but if like us, you have an oven that sounds quite similar to Concorde taking off, you may want to cook it during the day.
Get everything prepped first thing, though, and it's just a case of assembly. There may seem to bea lot of ingredients, but there's nothing unusual here. It's all great the next day too, apart from the bread, that should be cooked as freshly as possible.
Ingredients For the lamb 1/2 lamb shoulder 4tbsp harissa 2tbsp ground cumin 1 red onion, puréed 2 cloves of garlic, puréed 2tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper to season
For the tabouleh 50g buckwheat, cooked 200g parsley, finely chopped 3tbsp olive oil Small bunch of chopped mint Juice and zest of a lemon 6 cherry tomatoes 1tbsp sumac A handful of pomegranate seeds salt and pepper
For the bread 280g white bread flour 20g semolina 200ml water 7g sachet of yeast A large pinch of salt
Method Mix together the lamb coating ingredients in a large dish. Stab the lamb all over a few times just to be sure then massage in the rub. Cook in a low oven for about six to eight hours. Remove and leave to cool. You wont be able to resist picking at it. This is almost the best part, pulling the meat away, licking your fingers and secretly stuffing your face in the kitchen. When cool, you can shred it with your hands or a couple of forks. Put all the meat in a large bowl and set aside.
While the lamb is cooking, make the bread and tabouleh. Mix together all the tabouleh ingredients and taste to check the seasoning and balance. Adjust as you see fit. Mixt the bread ingredients together, adding the water a little at a time as you mix it in. Knead for about five minutes, cover and leave to rise for half an hour. Divide into six balls and roll out flat into circles about 3mm thick. Heat a frying pan (I prefer cast iron for this, but don't worry too much) until really hot and cook the bread one at a time until it puffs up and turns golden in parts. You can then flip it and put it directly on the flame to finish if you have gas. Can't do that on an induction can you, eh? Wrap the breads in a towel and leave until ready.
Serve the breads topped with the tabouleh and shredded lamb with a spoonful or two of tahini and natural youghurt.