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 jamieoliver.com and Jamie at Home (Hyperion 2008) —Genius Recipes
4 hours 20 minutes
For the lamb
(4.4-pound) bone-in lamb shoulder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
bulb garlic, unpeeled, broken into cloves
For the vegetables and mint sauce
1 1/2 pounds
peeled potatoes, cut into large chunks
large carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
a large rutabaga, peeled and cut into small chunks
lovely greens, such as white cabbage, savoy cabbage, Brussels sprouts tops or cavolo nero, leaves separated, stalks finely sliced
good-quality hot chicken or vegetable stock
capers, soaked, drained and chopped
fresh mint, leaves picked
red wine vinegar
In This Recipe
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.
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.
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.
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.
Place everything in the middle of the table, and shred the lamb in front of your guests. Absolutely delish!
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