There are few things I enjoy more than lazy weekends spent eating and drinking with good people. With spring lamb still gracing the display cabinets of good butchers right around the country, I thought a favourite ‘all day shoulder of lamb’ would be the perfect recipe to share. Comfortably feeding four people – and six at a stretch – this is a classic lunch or dinner dish where much of the work is done in advance, leaving you more time to spend with those good people!
Tasty Tuesday is generously supported by The Establishment Studios.
For the lamb
2kg Lamb shoulder
2 lemons, zested
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 tbsp za’atar
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the smashed peas
400gms garden peas, shelled
1 bunch mint, leaves washed and picked
1 bunch basil, leaves washed and picked
Handful of grated pecorino cheese
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of a lemon
For the labneh
250gm Greek yoghurt
Pour yourself a glass of Head Red GSM 2015 (which can be found in The Drinks List’s Christmas Survival Kit!).
Combine lemon zest, garlic, za’atar, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil together and massage well into lamb shoulder. Cover marinated shoulder tightly with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 90 degrees Celsius.
Remove cling film from shoulder and place in a heavy roasting tray and roast for 11 hours.
To make the labneh, add a pinch of salt to the yogurt and mix well. Transfer mixture to a small bowl lined with a chux cloth. Refrigerate for the entire time the lamb is cooking. At the end of the process, discard any excess liquid that has gathered in the bowl, and set aside.
With one hour to go, baste the lamb shoulder regularly with cooking juices from the tray until the cooking time is complete. Remove tray from oven and cover with foil, and set aside.
Meanwhile, add peas, basil, mint, pecorino, and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse to combine. Stop the motor and add a few decent slugs of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Process to combine, being careful not to blitz the mixture too hard. You want to keep some texture.
Serve the lamb either as whole shoulder, which will come apart easily with a pair of tongs, or as individual portions together with smashed peas, a good dollop of labneh and lemon wedges.