Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with anchovy & rosemary

Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with anchovy & rosemary

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(35 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 are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…

  • 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 fruits…

  • 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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3rd Dec, 2011
Absolutely delicious - lamb was incredibly tender and pulled apart with a fork... tasted superb. Only downside was the four hours of torture waiting to eat it as the smell coming from the oven was aaaaaaaaaaaaaamazing!!
15th Nov, 2011
I made this recipe for a casual dinner with friends. It was gorgeous everybody enjoyed it and between us we ate every bit. I didn't change anything, I thought it was perfect just how it was. I have since made it another twice. :-)
13th Nov, 2011
Made it using mutton last week, again delicious but with a slightly stronger flavour, excellent way of treating a nice joint of mutton.
27th Oct, 2011
wow..... cooked this in my caravan on the East Coast, was able to go out for the day with family.... what a treat to come back to something we would have all been prepared to pay for in a 'posh' restaurant... once again, thank you James... 10 out of 10..... (served it with a 'green garden veg pie' and yorkshires - all prepared in advance...) scrummy!
23rd Oct, 2011
One word DEVINE! Didn't change anything about the recipy, didn't have any problems with being too lemony or dry.
16th Oct, 2011
I did not change any of the ingredients, don't when I make it the first time. Disapointing was the dry bottom of the tin, with burned unions and lemmon, even with the wine. Other recipies I found, there was oil or lamb fond (? do not know the english word) added, I think I will do this the next time, because the lamb was still very good. Together with the sweet carrot puree, great!
15th Oct, 2011
This was perfect...the flavours worked so very well! The anchovies and capers added so much flavour/seasoning, and the lemon was just right for our taste buds!
10th Oct, 2011
Was really looking forward to this and returning to the delicious aroma had high expectations. Maybe it was down to having cooked it for 6 hours in the slow cook oven of a range (?) but the overpowering flavour was of lemon - far too strong! Meat was lovely and tender but won't be doing shoulder again with this recipe.
9th Oct, 2011
Absolutely scrummy, melt in the mouth lamb went down a treat for a for my Dad's birthday lunch after spotting it in the magazine, permanently in my binder to use again.
2nd Oct, 2011
Absolutely loved this dish. So tasty and incredibly easy to make. I didn't tell the family it contained anchovies until after they'd all enjoyed it! They added a different level of seasoning but couldn't be singled out. A new favourite.


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