Monday, 28 November 2011

Roast Shoulder of Lamb with Potatoes

When I was at the Welsh Lamb lunch at Odette's I was busy chatting away, when I heard a little sizzle behind me. I turned around, and Bryn Williams was standing there holding a huge roasting tray with two lamb shoulders on the rack, and sliced potatoes underneath it. "If anyone says they can't cook," he said "I'd challenge them on this one."




The lamb was slow roasted and as it cooked, the fat melted and dripped onto the potatoes below, giving them a really sweet, lamby flavour. He told us, briefly, how to make this dish, and then we all headed home. A couple of hours later, I'm sitting on the train thinking of nothing else but this lamb dish. And so I decided that I would make it at home as soon as I got the chance.

I'm not trying to pass this off as my recipe in any way - I just followed the instructions Bryn had given us. And it was so amazingly good, even when I made it at home, that I wanted you to know how it's done, so that you can make it too.

Obviously Welsh lamb is at its most flavoursome at the moment and it would make a great choice for this. I talked about the reasons Bryn and many other people prefer Welsh lamb in my previous post, so I won't repeat it here, but do go and have a look if you haven't already.



Lining the bottom of the roasting tray with foil before you layer in the sliced potato will save you quite a bit of hardcore scrubbing while you're washing up, so there's a good tip. Also, I bought a whole shoulder of lamb for just under £8 - and despite all four of us going up for seconds, we had LOADS left over, so it's quite economical. The shoulder needs long, slow cooking because it's one of the muscles that does all the work (especially clambering up those Welsh hills!) but when it's cooked, you'll be able to scrape the meat off the bone with a fork and spoon, it'll be so tender.

Bryn served his with a minted little gem salad but we had ours with some lightly cooked carrots tossed in butter and some mint sauce on the side. If you have any thyme sprigs you could scatter those on top too, but I didn't, so I made it without! Here's how you do it:

Slow Roasted Whole Shoulder of Lamb with Potatoes
Ingredients
  • 1 x whole shoulder of lamb - preferably Welsh lamb
  • Approx. 500g waxy potatoes - I used Charlotte potatoes
  • A head of garlic
  • Chicken stock, approx 1-2 pints

Method
  1. Preheat your oven to 120C.
  2. Line a roasting tray with foil, just so it makes it easier to clean up afterwards. Slice the potatoes (I didn't bother to peel them) quite thinly with a processor or mandolin so that they are all a uniform thickness, and layer them in the bottom of the roasting tray. Keep going until you have about 4 or 5 layers.
  3. Pour over the chicken stock until it just covers the potatoes - but only just.
  4. Place the rack on top and then sit the lamb on top of that.
  5. Halve your bulb of garlic and put that on top of the lamb. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and slide it carefully (it will be heavy!) into the preheated oven.
  6. Leave for about 4-5 hours.
  7. When the dish is ready, the lamb will be tender and the potatoes underneath soft and full of flavour. A perfect, cold-weather dish. Bet you'll go and get seconds!

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I made this dinner and it was absolutely mouth watering gorgeous, thanks Kenny

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    2. Thanks Kenny, I'm glad you liked it!

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    3. After last night i decided to it today and it was a absolute success i used the stock as the gravy only to compliment it,what do you use as the sauce

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    4. Do you cover the lamb with foil when cooking?

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. I don't usually use any gravy with the lamb- I find it moist and succulent enough, although a little mint sauce on the side would be good! And as for the foil, I don't cover the lamb with foil, it just roasts slowly as it is, on top of the potatoes.

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