Last night Rudy and I had the Round Knights over for a long overdue Dinner Club meet. Merv was very kind to help me get the lovely lamb shoulder we roasted for the main course, and boy it was a great dinner with awesome company. The menu last night:
Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Potato and Carrot Mash | Parker House Rolls | Couscous Salad with Cucumber, Red Onions and Herbs | Banana and Cinnamon Tea Bread
I’ve concluded that the best way to cook lamb is by slow roasting. Nothing beats juicy, tender meat falling of the bone. Moar, pweash!
Based on the recipe by Jamie Oliver.
Roast Lamb Shoulder
- 1 large bunch fresh rosemary (about 12 sprigs)
- 2 kg lamb shoulder, bone-in
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bulb garlic, unpeeled, broken into cloves
- 1 kg russet potatoes, peeled, cut into large chunks
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 50 g butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 chicken stock cube, diluted in 500 ml hot water
- 2 heaped tablespoons capers, soaked, drained and chopped
- 1 large bunch fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Preheat your oven to maximum heat. Slash the fat side of the lamb all over with a sharp knife.
Lay half the sprigs of rosemary and half the garlic cloves on the bottom of a high-sided roasting tray, rub the lamb all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place it in the tray on top of the rosemary and garlic, and put the rest of the rosemary and garlic on top of the lamb. Tightly cover the tray with aluminium foil, and place in the oven. Turn the oven down immediately to 170 degrees C/ 150 degrees C fan forced, and cook for 4 hours. The lamb is done if you can pull the meat apart easily with two forks.
When the lamb is nearly cooked, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and carrots and boil until tender, 20 minutes. The carrots may take longer than the potatoes to cook, if so remove the potatoes from the pot using a slotted spoon and continue cooking the carrots. Reserve some cooking water then drain the rest, and allow the potatoes and carrots to steam dry. Add the butter and 1/8 teaspoon salt, and mash until combined. Add about 1/4 cup cooking water, adding more for a smoother texture. Spoon into a bowl, cover with aluminium foil and keep warm over a pan of simmering water. You can also simmer the water in a rice cooker, using the steamer insert.
Remove the lamb from the oven and place it on a chopping board. Cover with aluminium foil, then a tea towel, and leave it to rest.
Drain most of the fat from the roasting tray. You can either arrange the remaining rosemary stalks on your serving platter as garnish, or simply discard them. Pour the remaining liquid from the tray into a saucepan on the stove over medium heat, scraping all the sticky bits off the bottom of the tray. Mix in the flour, the chicken stock and the capers, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, 3 minutes. Add the mint leaves and red wine vinegar at the last minute, then pour into a gravy boat.
Serve the gravy together with the smashed potatoes and lamb.