Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with anchovy & rosemary

Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with anchovy & rosemary

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(36 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 4 hrs


Serves 6

This generous dish of melt-in-the-mouth lamb feels extravagant, but is an inexpensive way to feed a crowd

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal535
  • fat41g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs5g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre1g
  • protein37g
  • salt0.67g
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  • 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
    Capers in bowl



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

  • 3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped



    Silver, slender salty little fish found mainly around the Black Sea and the Pacific and Atlantic…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 whole lemons



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1½ kg shoulder of lamb, on the bone



    A lamb is a sheep that is under 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • small glass white wine


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Finely chop the rosemary, then mix with the garlic, capers, anchovies, olive oil and zest and juice of 1 lemon, reserving the used lemon halves. Make 3-4 slashes across the top of the shoulder, then rub the rosemary mixture all over the lamb.

  2. Scatter the onion into the base of a large roasting tin, cut the remaining lemon in half, squeeze the juices into the tin, and place all the used lemon halves in the tin with the onions. Place the lamb on top and roast for 1 hr. Pour in the wine and roast for a further 3 hrs until the meat is really tender. Leave to rest for 15 mins then serve, pulled into chunks rather than carved, with any pan juices.

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Comments, questions and tips

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15th Jun, 2015
Absolutely dreadful recipe. He's clearly never tried it. Used new season west country shoulder (£20) and followed the recipe to the letter. Firstly, even at 140°c Fan the lamb burnt after 3 hours (ie an hour before the end). It looked nothing like the photo in the recipe which is a nice golden colour. Secondly, the sauce/gravy (which the recipe makes no mention of at the end of preparation - my suggestion would be to throw it away!)is disgusting. Sour lemon/wine taste that you could no more make gravy out of than you could out of coal tar soap. All in all - badly written, badly thought out and a complete waste of a (potentially) nice shoulder of spring lamb.
3rd Oct, 2015
Absolutely agree with you! This recipe just waste money and time! The meat completely dried off.
24th Mar, 2014
I used only 1 lemon and it tasted great Please fill out this survey for those who love food ,it only takes few minutes! Really appreciate it! Thanks
30th Jan, 2014
Based on other comments I only used about half a lemon but still found the juices slightly sour- not lemony and tangy but sour. I used a rose wine and kept adding to keep the juices from drying out and the meat was tender and tasty so I will definitely do this again but without the lemons.
20th Jan, 2014
Using home raised lamb with plenty of fat. I used one lemon and a roughly chopped red onions. I sat the meat on top so the juices made the lemon and onions sticky and delicious (no burnt bits here) - I chopped this up and added to the meat when serving. Made a good gravy. Served with baked carrots, parnsips, green veg and potato dauphenois. A real hit!
10th Nov, 2013
I agree with the earlier comments - the 2 lemons left a very bitter and burnt flavour to the juices which we found extremely unpleasant - I had to discard all the juices and the onions as they were so sour tasting. Sounds like its worth another try, but with the lemons omitted.
20th Jan, 2014
After reading the comments I just 1/4 one lemon and sat the meat on top with the onions. I found this made a lovely sticky concoction which wasn't burnt at all. There was a slight tint of bitter but not overwhelming but really pleasant. I found my lamb shoulder released so much juices and with the addition of the wine kept the pan very moist.
14th Aug, 2013
Just delicious. I made this with a 2kg leg to end with a little less fat Used the same timings and most of the same ingredients but a little less lemon and loads more wine. It seemed odd to deeply cut a leg however it worked incredibly well. Went to a BBQ and rolled the leg until the outside crisped then sliced down to the bone for a little pink middle and melt in the mouth outer. Try it.
24th Mar, 2013
One member of my family found the lemons too strong in the meat juice so I would advise to use only one. I however quite enjoyed the taste. I added lamb gravy granules with some water to create more sauce. Many of the red onions burned. The meat was very tender and practically fell off the bone; I got many 'mhmm' noises at the table. I served it with honey-glazed carrots, broccoli and roasted potatoes.
28th Feb, 2013
I've made this several times and it has always been delicious. With a fan oven don't be tempted to go any higher than 140 or it does dry out. I've just made it with a mixture of lime and lemon as I didn't have enough and shallots as I had no red onions. Still fab.


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