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!

Shoulder of Lamb with braised vegetables & roasting juices

Ingredients Required

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)
400ml Hot water
1 Bay leaf
3 sprigs Thyme
For the braised vegetables:
30g Unsalted butter
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
50ml Water
10g Flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Cooking Method

Preparing the Lamb

  1. 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.
  2. Boil the white wine, hot water, bay leaf and thyme together for 30 seconds (*4).
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 230ºC.
  4. 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).
  5. Sit the seasoned shoulder of lamb on top of the bones(*6) and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Baste with the fat and strain off any excess.
  7. Add the wine, water, bay leaf and thyme mixture to the roasting pan which will create your jus as it cooks(*7).
  8. 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.
  9. 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

  1. 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).
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
SEASON MAY-JULY AUGUST-OCTOBER NOVEMBER-FEBRUARY
SIZE OF SHOULDER 1.5kg 2.0kg 3kg
COOKING TIME 4 HR 4.5 HR 5.5 HR