It’s not often that I cook a large cut of meat; I find it quite intimidating. Likewise, it’s not often that I follow a recipe to the letter but I did both a couple weekends ago. This recipe had been sitting in the back of my mind for ages, ever since I watched it on Jamie at Home: slow roasted lamb shoulder and it looked foolproof. It turned out fabulously – the lamb falling off the bone at the slightest tug and the meat so soft it needed little chewing. The mint and caper sauce was tart and brilliant alongside; I expected the mint to be a bit too harsh but it had mellowed in the heat. Really, you’ve got to cook this as it’s almost effortless and the results are excellent. And don’t throw away the roasted garlic – beautifully gooey!
I even went so far as to make the mashed root vegetables and cavolo nero on the side. Both turned out well but I’ll probably switch up the sides next time.
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Garlic and Rosemary
adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe.
1.5 kg lamb shoulder on the bone (original recipe says 2kg but the change in weight didn’t affect cooking)
large handful of rosemary
1 large head of garlic
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to the maximum temperature it can go. Trim the lamb shoulder of any excess fat and slash any remaining fat all over.
Break the garlic into cloves and leave them unpeeled. Put half of the garlic cloves and half of the rosemary sprigs into the bottom of your roasting tray. Place the lamb on top, season it well with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil on top. Scatter the rest of the garlic and rosemary on top. Cover the roasting tray with two layers of aluminium foil, making sure to seal it well.
Put the roasting tray into the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 170C. Roast for 4 hours.
Hot Caper and Mint Sauce
1 tbsp flour
500mL hot vegetable or chicken stock
3 tbsps drained capers (in brine)
a small bunch of fresh mint
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
Roughly chop together the capers and mint. Set aside.
When the lamb is ready, put the lamb shoulder (along with the rosemary and garlic) on a serving platter and keep warm. There will be liquid at the bottom of the tray – transfer this to a bowl and return a tablespoon or two of the fat to the roasting tray. Place the roasting tray on a hob at medium heat. Add the flour and stir through well. Then add the juices from the lamb (skim off the remaining fat) and the stock. Boil for about 5 minutes. Add in the capers, mint and vinegar and simmer for another minute before serving with the lamb.