10 Hour Shoulder Of Lamb
Shoulder of lamb… possibly my favourite piece of meat. The texture, the flavour – it’s ultra-classy. I’ve been cooking shoulder of lamb for years and have relied on my tried and tested method – cook at 170c, covered with foil, for 4 hours or so. It’s a beautiful thing. But – we can always go better and I’ve been meaning to try this cut on a lower heat for a longer cooking time for a while now. It also made sense to try a different cooking technique. This is how I cooked 10 Hour Shoulder Of Lamb.
This lamb was cooked in a water bath. I wrapped the lamb in cling-film (very tightly) and cooked in large pan of water, covered, in the oven.
This is in no way as accurate as cooking in a temperature controlled water-bath – I don’t have access to one so had to improvise but this isn’t a delicate piece of fish we’re cooking here. Shoulder of lamb is much more forgiving so I didn’t need to be quite so accurate with my times.
My oven was at around 85c and I cooked the lamb for ten hours.
I’m sure you could go lower and longer but this dish is (just about) manageable in one day.
The result was incredible – slightly firmer to the touch than I would have thought but the texture of the meat when you actually ate it was amazing – moist, pink, tasty and just slides apart as you’re eating it.
I served it with champ, a lamb stock reduction with redcurrant jelly and broad beans.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 boneless shoulder of lamb
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- Salt & black pepper.
For the champ
- Maris Piper Potatoes
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 teaspoons chopped chives
- 2 chopped spring onions
- 1 Echalion shallot.
For the sauce
- 1 pint lamb stock
- 2 teaspoons redcurrant jelly (you can make your own with equal parts redcurrant and sugar, cooked, sieved and allowed to cool).
- Broad Beans & Asparagus
Chop the garlic and rosemary and rub into the lamb. Season well and wrap with cling-film. The wrap needs to be as tight as possible and you need to wrap it several times – you don’t want it to split during cooking so it needs to be tough and tight.
Heat your oven to 85c and place a large pan of water in the oven, covered. Leave to warm for 30 minutes and then place the lamb into the pan.
Leave it for 10 hours.
For the sauce I had some lamb stock I’d made up a while ago but a decent lamb stock cube (or those jellies they make now) will be an OK alternative. Reduce the stock over a low heat for an hour or so – tasting it every so often. Be careful here – don’t allow your stock to boil and do keep tasting it. When reducing a stock like this you’re concentrating the flavour and it can quickly become overpowering. Season your stock and add a teaspoon or 2 of redcurrant jelly. Taste the stock. Season again if it needs it. Don’t make it too sweet but do make sure you can taste the redcurrant jelly. The sauce doesn’t need to be too thick but if it’s still thin you can thicken with a sauce flour. Of course, to finish the sauce a decent chunk of butter will thicken it and add a nice gloss.
For the champ – peel and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes. Heat the milk and butter gently in a pan. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and gradually add the milk/butter liquid as you mash the potatoes. Don’t add it all at once as you might make the mash too wet. Keep mashing and adding the liquid until it’s smooth but not too wet.
Season the mash and add the other champ ingredients.
For the broad beans, blanch the beans in boiling water for a minute or so, soak in iced water and peel the beans. These can be reheated later on for a minute or so in salted, boiling water with asparagus or any other veg.
Let the lamb rest for a few minutes before you cut it.
It may fall apart slightly as you cut it… but that can only be a good thing.
Pour the stock over the lamb.
Simple enough to cook – utterly wonderful to eat.
By John Loydall