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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20th Jan, 2013
Made this today with slight amendments as I didn't have everything in. Used red wine instead of white and preserved lemons instead of fresh -all worked well and would definately do it again. As some said, there was little juice at the end but just added a bit of water and made a gravy in the roasting pan on th hob, super.
24th Nov, 2012
My shoulder of lamb was twice the size of the one in the recipe (bought the shoulder first then looked for ways to cook it). I cooked it for 5.5 hours. The "juices" in the pan kept drying up, so I kept on adding wine. In the end I had used a whole bottle. The friends who ate it said it was "the best lamb they'd ever eaten" - it was scrummy.
13th Nov, 2012
Would have preferred plain roast lamb with mint sauce. Like other people I thought the lemon added an unwelcome bitter taste, plus the pan juices just tasted burnt.
4th Oct, 2012
All the Alchohol dissapears with not alchoholic at all once cooked :0)
2nd Oct, 2012
Hi is there an altenrative to the wine (no alcoholic?)
1st Oct, 2012
Way to much lemon, must be an error ?
mother_ship's picture
18th Sep, 2012
Just used 1 lemon after reading the comments and it was lovely!
8th Jul, 2012
Mmmmmm. This works so well and the result is so good. 5 of us ate every last morsel of our 1.5kg shoulder but we could have fed more if we'd needed to (ie weren't so greedy!)
21st Jun, 2012
Fabulous recipe, 1st time I made it with local lamb shoulder for a dinner party, served with the goats cheese & carrots side dish with pomegranate seeds, went really well together. Cooked again this week for a friend coming round with roasties and veg and again, delicious. Smaller joint of meat so only cooked in total for 3 hours but I will make this again and again even as a mid week meal as it is so easy - we work from home so I can put it on mid afternoon, walk away and leave it and have something truly delicious for tea. Makes me want to check out more James Martin recipies as I have to confess I have always thought him a bit of a knob.... can I say that?!
31st May, 2012
Slow cooking seems to be very fashionable at the moment, this is the first time I've tried it with lamb. I've always found lamb shoulder difficult to carve - no problem with this recipe - it just fell off the bone! Having read all the comments I left out the lemon completely and put extra wine in plus a splash of balsamic. Everyone liked it, I will do this again.


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