Double cooked shoulder of lamb with heritage carrots, runner beans and a lamb sauce
This dish won at The Pub Chef of the Year Awards in London in 2009; a very proud moment for me and the first major award I won. The tender, melt in the mouth braised lamb with the rich lamb gravy made from the cooking stock is intense in flavour and delicious when served with these beautiful British vegetables. It’s one of those dishes you will make again and again.
Ingredients | Serves 6
For the lamb
- 1 lamb shoulder boned and rolled, approximately 2kg
- 1 bottle red wine
- Water to cover
- 2 carrots washed, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ head celery, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 bulb garlic, split in half
- ½ bunch rosemary
- ½ bunch thyme
For the lamb gravy
- The cooking liquor from the lamb
- 100ml tomato juice
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 500g runner beans
- 1 bunch or 5 large heritage carrots
- 50g butter
- Salt and pepper
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This dish requires forward planning; to allow the lamb time to cook and set it really needs to be made the day before so it can set in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours. This is why I think it’s the perfect dinner party main course. All the work is done the day before which gives you more time to socialise and spend time with friends whilst also producing an amazingly tasty and good looking meal.
Start by cooking the lamb. In a large heavy based saucepan add a touch of olive oil and place over a high heat. Add the shoulder of lamb and seal the outside moving the shoulder around the pan to colour all sides. Then add the carrot, leek, onion, garlic, celery, thyme and rosemary and brown in the pan for a further 5 minutes. Now season with a touch of sea salt and black pepper then add the red wine to the pan. Top with water until the lamb is covered. Turn down the heat to medium once the lamb starts boiling and leave to simmer for 4½ hours. Once cooked, the lamb will be so tender it will just fall apart. Turn off the stove top and using some kitchen utensils very carefully remove the lamb from the liquid and place on a tray, leave to cool for 30 minutes or until you can manage it with your hands but do not let it cool completely. Once the meat isn’t too hot remove the string and start to pull the meat apart; flake all off the meat and remove any fat from in and around the lamb. You can break the meat up as much as you want, just make sure all the fat is removed. Once you are left with just the tender meat, roll out cling film onto a board, take the lamb and place it along the middle of the cling film. Start to roll it and with the cling film still attached keep rolling the lamb six times until you have a long sausage shape about 8cm in diameter. Cut off the cling film roll then tie each end of the lamb sausage, place in the fridge to set over night.
For the lamb gravy strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve into another pan; there will be so much flavour in this liquid that it will produce an amazing sauce. Place on the stove on a high heat and with a ladle remove any surface fat. Add the tomato juice and the juice of half a lemon, reduce by three-quarters until you have a thick lamb gravy that coats the back of a spoon. Season with black pepper and the gravy is ready.
To prepare the vegetables bring a pan of salted water to the boil, cut the runner beans diagonally and cook for a few minutes until tender. Peel and cut the carrots, leave any baby ones whole and cook until tender. Once the vegetables are cooked, heat the butter and coat the vegetables in the butter, season with sea salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180°c. Take the lamb from the fridge, slice the cylinder into 4-6 pieces, remove the cling film and place onto a roasting tray with a touch of oil. Put in the oven for 15 minutes, this is just to warm the lamb through, it will still keep the round shape. Add the selection of vegetables to each plate, place a piece of lamb next to them and pour over the gravy. When you put your fork into the lamb it will just fall apart and melt in the mouth.