© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: Kookaburra
This is an amazing recipe, very slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver's "Jamie at Home" recipe book and television series. Don't be fooled by the simple ingredients - the flavour in this is amazing! What's more, the shoulder is one of the cheaper cuts of lamb and this recipe will serve 6 generously. I love that you can plonk it in the oven early in the morning, and forget about it for four hours. It emerges moist and so tender it just falls off the bone. No need to slice it, just pull it apart with two forks. I served it with Paris Mash (finely mashed potatoes with lashings of butter, cream and milk), and finely sliced white and red cabbage, English spinach and rocket (arugula) lightly boiled in salted water (I used the potato water) then drained and tossed with a knob of butter. Unbelievably good! You could serve this to anyone!
1 4½ pound lamb shoulder, bone in — ask the butcher to score lightly between the bones for you
1 bunch fresh rosemary — a large bunch, or two small bunches
bulb of garlic, unpeeled — use 2 bulbs if you love garlic
sea salt, crushed
black pepper, freshly ground
For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon flour
16 fluid ounces chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers, soaked, drained and chopped
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked off and very finely chopped — a large bunch, or 2 small bunches
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
First, preheat your oven up as hot as it will go.
Using a sharp knife, slash through the fat layer of the lamb at about 1 inch intervals, then do it in the opposite direction to form a diamond pattern. Pour a little olive oil into the base of a high-sided (2 to 3 inches deep) roasting tin and then add half of the rosemary sprigs — Jamie is quite generous with the amount of rosemary, so don't be shy about it — I guess I used about 12 x 5" sprigs on the bottom, and another 10 to 12 on top. Scatter over half of the unpeeled garlic cloves (a full bulb if you're a garlic freak, half a bulb if you're a little more timid). Now place the lamb on top, pour over enough oil to coat the lamb and rub it in with your hands. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and rub into the lamb. Scatter the rest of the rosemary and garlic cloves on top of the lamb. Cover the roasting tin tightly with aluminium foil (you may need several layers to make sure it's tightly covered), then place on the centre rack of the pre-heated oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 325°F or slightly lower if your oven is fan forced — I cooked mine at 320°F in my fan forced oven. Cook for four hours.
When the lamb is cooked, remove from the oven, remove the foil, and you will find the large bone simply pulls away clean. Now, use two forks to separate the meat from the smaller bones, and pile the meat onto a plate — being careful to remove any small bones. Cover meat and keep warm while you prepare the sauce. Remove and discard any sprigs of rosemary in the baking tin — don't worry about the little leaves that have fallen off the sprigs. Remove the roasted garlic cloves to a plate and let them cool a little. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of oil, but try to ensure that you leave the cooking liquor in the pan — this is achieved easily with a separating jug OR you can pour the whole lot into a tall glass and allow the oil to rise to the top, pour off the excess oil, and pour the rest back into the pan. Now, pop the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins, add to the roasting pan and smash up with the back of a wooden spoon. Place the roasting pan on the stove (I place it over two hobs) over a medium heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour, then stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, gradually add the chicken stock. Boil, stirring, for about 5 minutes (this doesn't make a thick gravy, so don't be concerned if it doesn't thicken much). Now add the finely chopped mint and the red wine vinegar and the capers if using. Boil briefly and then pour into a jug remember this is more of a sauce than a gravy, so it won't be thick.
Serve the lamb, giving each person about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sauce poured over the top of the meat.