Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with anchovy & rosemary

Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with anchovy & rosemary

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(37 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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13th May, 2012
This was truly delicious and will be made again and again. The meat melted and tasted truly delicious. I will try serving with a cous cous and roasted mediterranean vegetables.
30th Apr, 2012
Similar to many comments, we used local lamb that was given to my parents from the farm for a favour, so couldnt be more local if it tried. Husband not anti lemon in G&T but anti lemon in cooking but actually even he agreed this added to the taste. I can't rave about this recipe enough, delicious! made for a meal with neighbours and ate every single last shred, not a thing left over. I served with roast potatoes (the reason my husband married me) and carrot, pomegranate and goats cheese side dish, sounds weird but absolutely lovely. Will definitely make this again, quick and easy to prepare and melt in the mouth gorgeous!
15th Apr, 2012
This was my first attempt on shoulder of lamb and it was delicious. All tender and succulent. But I found the meat juices were rather sour and bitter cos of the lemons, hence I put the juices and onions in the blender and added a splash of milk, knob of butter and finally a splash of honey to even out the sour/bitter taste. Turned out a really tasty and smooth gravy. I'd make that dish again but with just one lemon.
10th Apr, 2012
James Martin strikes again! This recipe was amazing - the lamb was so tasty and tender. Made it with home-made mint sauce and crispy roasties - we demolished it between 4 of us!
25th Mar, 2012
If yr ever stuck on what to do for a dinner party this is the one for u. The most amazing dish ever. Such a success. Love this
4th Mar, 2012
This is restaurant stuff. Absolutely melt in the mouth meat. Marinated a couple of days before. Didn't have any white wine so used some JA rum instead. fantastic. Will def cook again and again again. And it's easy on the pocket. Yeah!
24th Feb, 2012
This recipe is heinous! You need to kick off the lamb in a hot oven to get the skin crisping and the fat rendering before turning it down to the low heat to slow cook. Can’t do that with lemons they’ll just burn. They add nothing except an unpleasant taste to the juices. And for heaven’s sake there’s enough fat on lamb without adding more in the form of olive oil. Make small incision in the skin, pop some rosemary and garlic in them, anchovies too if you really must but good lamb shouldn’t need them. Slam in the oven at high heat for 15 minute then turn down for a three hours. Does James actually cook this ?
10th Feb, 2012
any suggestions on what to serve it with?
7th Feb, 2012
I first made this for friends who came round for dinner but have since made it many times for my husband and I as we love the flavours of this dish and the fact that the lamb is so suculent that it just falls of the bone!
13th Jan, 2012
Did this recipe as directed and it was AMAZING! Would highly recommend - my other half thinks this is the tastiest thing we've made from this site (and we've made a lot!)


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