Roast Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb with Olive Sauce

My recipe for roast lamb, perfect for a lazy Sunday lunch, is easy and inexpensive, using the tasty shoulder which lends itself to slow roasting. I love this method of cooking lamb, which results in sweet, tender meat, almost falling from the bone. This is not one of your temperamental roasts that has to be brought out and served just so, at the point of perfect pinkness. You can vary the stuffing and accompanying sauce next time you make it, perhaps using mushrooms in the stuffing and capers in the sauce.

Ask your butcher to remove the blade and thigh bones from a shoulder of lamb, but to leave in the leg bone. This makes for much easier carving. Remove as much visible fat as possible.

Ingredients

  • 1 shoulder of lamb, boned as above, weighing about 1.35-1.8 kg (3-4 lbs), boned weight
  • 100 g (3 oz) fresh soft breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons sultanas or chopped dried apricots
  • 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • grated zest and rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chervil, basil or parsley
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary, chopped

Method

Mix all the stuffing ingredients together, and place in the centre of the opened-out shoulder. Fold the edges of the meat over, tie it round three times to form a rosette shape, and place in a roasting tin.

Roast for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 220°C/ 450°F/gas mark 7, then turn the heat down to 150°C/300°F/ gas mark 2, and roast slowly for about 2 to 2 hours. Allow the meat to rest for at least minutes in a warm place before carving.

At the same time as you put the lamb in the oven, you can put in a dish of potatoes and onions. Peel and thinly slice both, and layer them in an oiled ovenproof dish, lightly seasoning each layer with a little salt and pepper and a trickle of olive oil. This is even better if you put the lamb on top of the vegetables for the last hour of cooking, together with any cooking juices, from which you have skimmed the fat.

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