A one-pot dish from the head chef at Rhug Estate
Don’t be afraid of cooking any type of lamb joint with this recipe, whether it is shoulder, loin or neck. If you want to spice up your lamb, you could use harissa paste in your marinade.
1 x 2 kg Rhug Welsh lamb shoulder, bone in or out (personal preference)
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
Sprig of thyme
1 bulb of garlic
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
6 white onions
400g floury potatoes
200ml hot chicken stock
1 tbsp plain flour
A splash of red wine (optional)
The lamb shoulder should be at room temperature. To create the marinade, set aside 5 cloves of garlic for roasting, then crush the rest and combine with olive oil, a few sprigs of rosemary, the thyme, black pepper and sea salt. Slash the lamb all over with a sharp knife, then rub the marinade all over, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Leave to marinate for at least 3 hours. Ideally for 24 hours.
Seal the lamb by putting it in a smoking hot pan, skin/fat side down, and brown all over until it gets to a nice caramelised colour.
Peel and thickly slice the onions, carrots, celery and potatoes, then place in a large deep roasting tray with the remaining rosemary and unpeeled garlic cloves. Pile the vegetables so the lamb can sit on top.
Pour the chicken stock in the tray with the vegetables. Place the lamb shoulder on top of the vegetables. Cover the tray tightly with a double layer of tin foil and put in the oven at 160C to cook for 4 hours, or until the meat pulls easily away from the bone. Alternatively, you could use a slow cooker.
Remove the shoulder to a platter, cover loosely with the foil and leave to rest. Remove the carrots, onions, potatoes and celery from the tray, and mash to your required consistency in a bowl. Add seasoning and butter.
To make gravy, skim the fat from the stock and juices left in the tray after cooking the meat, pick out and discard the rosemary, and squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins.
Place the tray on the hob over a medium heat, stir in the flour and cook for 2 mins. Add 500ml chicken stock and the red wine (the amount of red wine depends how much you want to drink at the same time as cooking!) and stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 mins, or until thick and glossy.
Shred up the lamb and serve up with the root veg mash and gravy. Delicious served with steamed seasonal greens.
Recipe: Elliot Knox