Shoulder of Lamb with braised vegetables & roasting juices
This dish represents all that is good about slow cooking and home cooking. My mum never used stocks in her cooking, just water to create delectable juices. A big, wholesome and wonderful dish, and the best way to use a cheaper cut of meat, the long, slow cooking of the lamb will render the meat tender, juicy and incredibly tasty. A minimum investment of time and effort for a maximum lamb experience!
|For the lamb shoulder:|
|1.5-3kg||Shoulder of lamb, hung 10 days, skin lightly scored (see cooking table on following page)|
|4g||Maldon sea salt (*1)|
|4 pinches||Freshly ground, black pepper|
|2 sprigs||Rosemary, finely chopped|
|3 leaves||Sage, finely chopped|
|2 tbsp||Olive oil|
|700g||Lamb bones and meat trimmings cut into 2cm pieces|
|30ml||Rapeseed/grapeseed oil (*3)|
|1 bulb||Garlic, cut in half through the circumference|
|100ml||Dry white wine, (eg Chardonnay)|
|For the braised vegetables:|
|250g||Onions, cut in to 6, keep the stalk intact|
|250g||Carrots, washed, cut in half then into 3cm pieces|
|250g||Swiss chard stalks, cut in half then in to 3cm pieces|
|2 heads||Gem lettuce cut in 6 lengthways, keep the stalk intact|
|250g||Yellow beetroot, cut in to even sized pieces|
|50g||Swiss chard leaves|
|10g||Flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped|
Preparing the Lamb
- Season the lamb by rubbing the salt, black pepper, rosemary, sage & olive oil all over the shoulder of lamb and leave at room temperature(*2) for one hour.
- Boil the white wine, hot water, bay leaf and thyme together for 30 seconds (*4).
- Pre-heat the oven to 230ºC.
- In a large heavy duty roasting pan, on a medium heat, colour the lamb bones and meat trimmings in the oil for 7-10 minutes until lightly golden, brown the sliced garlic for 3 minutes and turn over and take off the heat(*5).
- Sit the seasoned shoulder of lamb on top of the bones(*6) and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Baste with the fat and strain off any excess.
- Add the wine, water, bay leaf and thyme mixture to the roasting pan which will create your jus as it cooks(*7).
- Turn the oven to 150ºC, cover loosely with tin foil and return to the oven for between 4 and 5.5 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the roasting juices (see cooking table on following page.
- At the end of cooking if there has been too much evaporation add 100ml of water to the jus to lengthen it.
To cook the braised vegetables
- On a medium heat, in a large 35cm diameter saucepan sweeten the vegetables in olive oil with a little seasoning for 5 minutes or so. Add the water which will add moisture and steam to the vegetables; cook very gently on the lowest heat with a lid on for 35 minutes(*8).
- Finally add the Swiss chard leaves, replace the lid and cook on the hob on full power for a further 3 minutes
To finish & serve
- Remove the lamb from the oven; strain the juices into a small saucepan, removing the excess fat on the surface(*9), taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and pour into a sauce boat.
- Place the lamb and the vegetables on the table so your guests can help themselves. (The fun starts!) The lamb will be tender enough so you can carve it with a large spoon or should you wish use a knife.
- In creating this recipe, we cooked off a vast range of shoulders in terms of size and cooking methods. Below is a table that shows our results with the best cooking method for each size of lamb shoulder:
|SIZE OF SHOULDER||1.5kg||2.0kg||3kg|
|COOKING TIME||4 HR||4.5 HR||5.5 HR|