Friday, 19 November 2010

Slow roasted lamb shoulder with crushed roots and a mint and caper dressing

Ideal for a lazy, tasty Sunday...sear the meat, put in the oven with the peeled vegetables, combine with the wine and herbs, cover and roast while you head to the pub. When you come back you’ll be greeted by a smell so delicious you’d be forgiven for eating it straight out of the roasting pan.

For two greedy people:
Half a lamb shoulder, bone in
4 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
A handful floury potatoes, peeled
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
Half a swede, peeled and cubed
Two large glasses of dry white wine
A few large sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and gently crushed
2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into batons
Oil for frying
Sea salt and pepper
Two tablespoons capers
A shot of red wine vinegar
A shot of extra virgin olive oil
4 anchovy fillets
A small handful of fresh mint leaves

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Season the lamb with salt and pepper and in a frying pan sear the joint on all sides in the groundnut oil until it begins to brown
- Place the carrots, celery, onion, garlic and rosemary into a large roasting tin, sit the lamb on the top
- Pour the wine over the lamb and vegetables and cover the tin with foil so none of the vapours can escape
- Roast in the oven for 2.5 hours, remove the lamb and check how it's doing, you're looking for it to fall off the bone and this long should be enough
- Whilst the lamb's cooking, in a food processor combine the olive oil, anchovies, capers, mint and red wine vinegar and blitz until you have a thick dressing
- Just before the lamb is ready to come out of the oven bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the swede and cook for around 8 minutes until it's soft enough to mash
- Remove the meat from the oven and sit it on a plate to cool and rest a little, in the meantime, strain the roasting veg and liquor through a sieve, catching the liquor in a saucepan - put this on a gentle heat with a teaspoon of butter to reduce to a nice shiny jus
- Take the carrots and potatoes out of the sieve and discard the other ingredients, place the potatoes and carrots into a dish and pop back into the oven to keep warm
- Now the meat should have cooled enough to handle, using your fingers tear the meat into big chunks and discard the bones that are in it, you want to be left with a big pile of tender shredded lamb in large pieces
- Drain and mash the swede (use a fork, masher or ricer, whichever's easiest, add a knob of butter if you're feeling extra naughty)
- Time to plate; the mashed swede first, followed by the potatoes and carrots, then the lamb, a ladle of the jus over the top of it all, and finally a generous tablespoon of the caper and mint dressing
- Eat, then fall asleep :-)

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