Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb with Redcurrant, Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon
This meltingly tender and succulent lamb is perfect for a party or family gathering because it sits in the oven looking after itself. If necessary, stretching the timing is not an issue; the juices which accumulate make a delicious gravy and carving certainly isn't a worry because it will literally fall apart.
2.50 kg shoulder of lamb
2 large sprigs of rosemary from the garden or a full bought packet
3 generous tbsps. redcurrant jelly
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 whole bulb of garlic
6 fat cloves garlic
2 onions and 3 large potatoes for trivet
1 pint lamb (or beef would be fine) stock, made with a cube.
Strip the leaves from the rosemary, chop finely and put into a bowl
Peel the 6 fat cloves of garlic and grate them onto the bowl with the rosemary
Grate the lemon zest into the bowl and add the juice of the lemons. Save the skins. Put the redcurrant jelly into a small jar (or use its own) and vigorously stir with a small fork until it breaks down to a slightly lumpy but pourable consistency. Add it to the bowl.
Lastly, add the olive oil to the bowl. Stir together. You should now have a spreadable and very flavourful paste
Using a very sharp knife (a bread knife or a clean Stanley knife) make several slashes in the lamb skin and spread the mixture over the lamb, pushing it into the slashes using your fingers. Leave to marinate like this to absorb the flavour for as long as you can, over night would be good, but do what you can.
Just before cooking, cut the onions in half - no need to peel them, their brown skins will add colour to your gravy and place them in the bottom of a large roasting pan.
Now cut the potatoes into large chunks, similar in size to the onions and put them into the roasting pan with the onions to create a trivet for the lamb. Sit the lamb on top of the onions and potatoes and pour in 1 pint of hot lamb stock (made with a cube). Rub away any loose papery skin from the garlic bulb, tuck it into the roasting pan and add the lemon shells
Cover the whole lot tightly with a double layer of foil and cook in the oven at 160c without disturbing it for 4 hours.
After 4 hours undisturbed cooking the lamb will be falling from the bone but still beautifully moist. Allow the lamb to rest for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes before serving.
Remove the lemon shells from the juices and discard. The onions and potatoes will be delicious but not particularly pretty. Remove the garlic bulb from the juices and squeeze the soft pulp onto a saucer, squash to a puree with a fork and stir it into the lamb juices.
The lamb juices may be bubbled hard to reduce, creating a delicious gravy
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