Make Ahead

Jamie Oliver's Roasted Shoulder of Lamb with Smashed Vegetables and Greens

March 27, 2013
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This is a feast worthy of Easter or Christmas dinner, but -- aside from slow-roasting the lamb -- it comes together in the time it takes to cook a weeknight dinner. Lamb shoulder is often hacked up into chops, so you may need to call around to butchers to find it, but it's worth it, and much richer and sweeter than your average leg of lamb. Adapted slightly from and Jamie at Home (Hyperion 2008) —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • For the lamb
  • 1 (4.4-pound) bone-in lamb shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pinches sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bulb garlic, unpeeled, broken into cloves
  • For the vegetables and mint sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 a large rutabaga, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 6 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 1 pound lovely greens, such as white cabbage, savoy cabbage, Brussels sprouts tops or cavolo nero, leaves separated, stalks finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups good-quality hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons capers, soaked, drained and chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  1. For the lamb: Heat your oven to full whack (450 to 500 degrees F). 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 pan, rub the lamb all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place it in the pan 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 aluminum foil and place in the oven. Turn the oven down immediately to 325 degrees F and cook for about 4 hours - it's done if you can pull the meat apart easily with 2 forks. If it's tender but not brown as you'd like, uncover and briefly turn up the heat again at the end, till it has a nice brown crust.
  2. For the smashed veg: When the lamb is nearly cooked, put the potatoes, carrots and rutabaga into a large pot of boiling salted water and boil hard for 20 minutes or so until you can slide a knife into the rutabaga easily. Drain and allow to steam dry, then smash them up in the pan with most of the butter. If you prefer a smooth texture, add some cooking water. Spoon into a bowl, cover with foil and keep warm over a pan of simmering water.
  3. For the sauce and greens: Remove the lamb from the oven and place it on a chopping board. Cover it with foil, then a kitchen towel, and leave it to rest. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the greens. Pour away most of the fat from the roasting pan, discarding any bits of rosemary. Put the pan on the stovetop over medium heat and mix in the flour. Add the stock, stirring and scraping all the sticky goodness off the bottom of the pan. You won't need gallons of gravy, just a couple of flavorsome spoonfuls for each serving. Add the capers, turn the heat down and simmer for a few minutes. Finely chop the mint and add it to the sauce with the red wine vinegar at the last minute then pour into a pitcher.
  4. Add the greens and stalks to the pan of fast-boiling salted water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes to just soften them. Drain and toss with a knob of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Place everything in the middle of the table, and shred the lamb in front of your guests. Absolutely delish!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • beckyroeder
  • Sauertea
  • procrastibaker
  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
  • EmilyC
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

17 Reviews

Jenny June 3, 2016
The bone-in leg did not have as much fat as a shoulder would so the outside actually dried out a bit over the course of 4 hours. I also used a dutch oven instead of a baking dish, wonder if that would make the difference. The gravy was delicious~ the mint definitely added the freshness and lifted the meaty flavors
Tasha March 26, 2016
How would the cooking time adjust if this was done with boneless lamb shoulder, weight about 4 pounds?
Kate March 28, 2015
I am going to do this for our outdoor Easter supper next week!
beckyroeder January 10, 2015
My family absolutely adores this recipe. The bone-in lamb shoulder that I was able to buy is 8.5 pounds. How does the cooking time scale? Should I double the time?
Sauertea June 13, 2014
Love this!!! The first time I made it, I came back to the house after a quick run to the market and the entire house smelled of wonderful lamb and rosemary.
procrastibaker May 26, 2014
Loved this. Used a 4.5lb lamb shoulder and used thyme in addition to the garlic and rosemary. Stuffed a few of the cloves into the roast and divided the rest between top and bottom. Threw fingerling potatoes and carrots in the pan for the last hour of the roast. Meat was falling apart and still juicy. Easiest Sunday night dinner I've made in ages. This is going into the regular rotation.
Vance May 26, 2014
Got a freezer? We live in the Portland area, and buy a whole lamb from local farmers in the Columbia River Gorge. The farm puts you on the list early in the season and gives contact information for the processor, who cuts per your preferences. Amazing quality and per-pound price beats the heck out any market. Green Mountain Ranch in WA across from Hood River is where we got our last one.
ChantalMSalomonLee April 23, 2014
This is my new favorite lamb dish. It's so easy and satisfying. The smashed vegetables are amazing. Can't wait to make it again.
GregoryBPortland April 13, 2014
It would be a pity to not seek out a butcher to provide you with a lamb shoulder. It's one of the most delicious parts of the lamb, and I've made this Jamie Oliver dish a number of times. The shoulder is unbelievably tender when prepared this way--the fat simply melts away and your left with delicious lamb that is addictive. It's impossible to find lamb shoulder here in Portland's regular supermarkets (blame consumers, who insist on buying boned and trimmed meats that don't have half the flavor of the bone-in type--but that's another rant saved for another day). The New Season's markets here have excellent butchers and I can find my lamb shoulder there. It's gotten to be rather expensive. Shoulder cuts were considered "garbage meat" when I was a kid and it was dirt cheap. A four-pound lamb shoulder will cost you upwards of nearly $30. But this dish is worth the expense. A little side story--I asked a local and highly regarded butcher here for lamb shoulder. He told me he could get it for me, but I would have to buy SIX lamb shoulders! In any event, this recipe ought to qualify for Jamie Oliver's "genius" recipe. It's that good.
Alexandra S. April 2, 2013
Couldn't find lamb shoulder -- my grocery stores couldn't even order it bc it wasn't a cut that was on the order annoying! -- but we did make a yummy bone-in leg of lamb and we made these smashed veggies! Everyone raved about the veg. Totally delicious.
Jenny June 3, 2016
I'm glad to find your comment because I ran into the same problem! Our local butcher did not have a shoulder either so I got a bone-in leg instead.
EmilyC March 31, 2013
Absolutely incredible. My whole family went crazy for the lamb and the smashed vegetables. I served tuscan kale on the side (Amanda's kale salad with apples and hazelnuts). So, so good.
SuSanFran March 31, 2013
We made this last night for a dinner party - it was great. The greens side dish will become a regularly occurring feature in our kitchen. The meat was succulent, and not all that expensive. The gravy is the real star here - a cross between a gravy and a vinaigrette. Wonderful meal.
Chicago M. March 31, 2013
I'm going to make this today and I'm a bit worried about the oven temp / cooking time. Sounds like it could overdo it and I scanned a few other recipes which typically don't begin with the "whack blast" and do include a small bit of liquid in the roasting pan.
BritishBishop May 22, 2013
Don't worry about the temperature - it works.. Trust me, I have made this loads of times
kitchenfish March 30, 2013
I made this last night for other half and his mother. Both said it was the best lamb they've ever tasted! You really do shred it with a fork and that mint sauce is totally out of this world. Simple, beautiful flavours. The cabbage was perfect (and I don't like cabbage), and the buttery veg was to die for.
Susan-Elizabeth March 27, 2013
I've made this recipe quite a number of times. It's fabulous and comes together effortlessly.