Don’t you love it when guests want a recipe after you’ve spent hours slaving at the stove, or as in this case, left it in the oven to do its thing pretty much by itself… Even better. Perfect for a chilled Sunday lunch…

So here goes: slow cooked shoulder of lamb with Mediterranean herbs. (Inspired by Hugh FW’s Moroccan spiced shoulder of mutton but went back to my roots of olive oil, rosemary, thyme and garlic (as in one of Jamie’s recipes).

Ingredients: Shoulder of lamb at room temperature – Rosemary, thyme, garlic (how much depends on you) – Olive oil – A glass of white wine, 250 ml stock

Oven: 180C/200C 20 minutes, 120C 4 hours or more

In casserole dish put a lug of olive oil, rosemary (about 10 sprigs), thyme (about same), garlic cloves (half a head with skins on) and place shoulder on top. Score the fat with a sharp knife length and width a few times (about 5 mm, just so you get to the meat).

In a mortar, mix and bash rosemary and thyme ‘leaves’ (about five sprigs of each, stick the twigs in the bottom of the dish) and about 6 peeled garlic cloves with olive oil and freshly ground pepper. Rub the oily mix into the shoulder, making sure to go into the cracks with the herbs. Grind pepper on top.

Hot oven for about 20 minutes, the fat will turn gold (and maybe a bit black…). Take out and turn oven down to 120C. Add a glass of white wine and about 250 ml of stock (I used chicken). Cover with lid (or if it touches a tent of foil!) and put back in warm oven (120C) for about 4 hours… That’s it.
No need for thin slices, just take bits away from the bone with a fork…

It may have made a difference that I did the hot oven bit in the electric oven and the slow cooking in the Esse. Have never used the Esse before (as it runs on oil…) but I’ll have to do again as the compliments at the end of the meal were such a joy!

We all also enjoyed a couple of Chilli jellies that complimented the lamb rather well. Liz’s Loscombe Crab Apples and Chillies Jelly was redder and wonderfully sweet. My Dorset Turtle Claw Chilli and Cooking Apples trial was also sweet but had more of a kick when you got lucky with a chilli (or unlucky with a seed…).

Recipe in the next post…

Dorset Chillies

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