roast lamb

roast lamb

Spring is surely here when lamb is on the menu. Wonderful, succulent, English lamb. I used a shoulder; just as interesting and tasty as a leg, but half the price. A trickier carve I’ll grant you but I can suffer that for luscious tender meat.

With the benefit of ample time on a Sunday, I fancied a slow roast on this occasion. I turned to two inspirations, food pornographer Nigel Slater and laid-back New Zealander Peter Gordon. If Kiwis know how to cook something, it’s lamb. I started by slashing the meat all over with deep grooves, reaady for flavours. I arrived at a baste of juicy garlic, aromatic garden-picked rosemary, prickly mustard seeds and of course s&p. I mashed all this together and smeared it into a paste with olive oil, then eagerly rubbed all over the meat. I put this in an oven of 150c, over some onions, carrots and celery, covered with foil.

As pungent garlicky smells filled the air, I basted the meat every half hour or so then removed the foil after about four hours. A further twenty minutes just to brown a little more of the surface, and left it to rest for an hour. The meat came off with no effort at all, and made piles of juicy lamb. I served with roast potatoes (natch), carrots, yorkshire puddings (it’s not beef, so sue me) and broccoli cheese. The meat was filled with savoury, tender juice and had a wonderful flavour. It’s a crappy old ad slogan, but there’s never a better time to “Slam in the Lamb”.

roast lamb

Gary @ BigSpud
This British Sunday classic is easy to do but just needs time.
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Servings 8


  • 1.5 kg lamb shoulder
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery roughly chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 150C.
  • Bash together the rosemary, mustard seeds and half the garlic in a pestle and mortar. Add salt and pepper and stir through a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Massage this all over the lamb.
  • Put the rest of the garlic, the onion, celery and carrot in the base of a deep roasting tray. Put the lamb on top with a mugful of water and cover with foil. Roast in the oven for 4 hours.
  • Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking. Make sure you leave to rest for about an hour before carving.
Keyword lamb, meat

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