Usually now refers to a large piece of bone-in top end of shank or shoulder of sheep-meat, marinaded with mint and cooked very slowly to the point where it almost begins to disintegrate.
The origin of the name is unclear, and the first reference we can find to it is of it being served at 'The Flag & Whistle' in Shildon, Co Durham in 2000. It may possibly be derived from the name of Henry Harris, the master-cook and restaurateur, whose many contributions to the 'Caterer and Hotelkeeper Magazine' have often included lamb and mutton dishes. An alternative theory is that it takes its name from the well-known French footballer Thierry Henry, whose arrival at an English club in 1999 led to a minor bout of French-style dishes appearing in English pubs.
Original Receipt in 'Caterer and Hotelkeeper' Monday 11 September 2006;
Slow roasted shoulder of lamb - by Henry Harris
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
200ml Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1tsp harissa paste
1tsp sea salt
2tbs chopped mint
2tbs chopped coriander
Zest of one orange
Zest and juice of two lemons
Generous pinch of saffron, soaked for 10 minutes in hot water
½tsp ground cumin, from toasted, whole seeds
½tsp ground coriander, from toasted, whole seeds
1 shoulder of lamb (boned, rolled and tied)
Grilled tomato salad
Yogurt seasoned with mint, garlic, salt
Place all ingredients except shoulder of lamb in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Place the lamb in a dish and pour over the yogurt marinade. Work the marinade into the meat, paying particular attention to the cracks. Cover and store in the fridge for at least 36 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC. Put the lamb with marinade into a roasting pan, cover with foil and bake for two-and-a-half hours. If the marinade evaporates too much then top it up with a little water. Remove the foil and bake for a further 45 minutes or until the lamb is well crusted.
To serve, slice the meat and arrange it on a platter along with some couscous, grilled tomato salad and a little more yogurt seasoned with mint, garlic and salt.
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