It was my birthday last month and, unusually, I decided I didn’t really feel like cooking. Having not long before created a three course Mother’s Day meal, I decided to take it easy on my birthday and that we’d all go out to the local pub the night before. We had a great meal at The Harbourmaster in Aberaeron (it’s a fantastic place, definitely one to put on your visiting list if you head this way), and I then thought why not stick a nice slab of meat to slow-cook on Sunday for my birthday lunch too? Nothing labour-intensive, a nice local shoulder of lamb, to slow roast for several hours until the rich meat is melting-tender under a fork. That was the plan. But as usual, once I start cooking something I begin to rummage in the fridge, the garden, the cupboards. Inspiration strikes and I get excited – “Ooh, this will go together nicely”, “This cream needs using up”, “Why don’t I try this?”… So what started as a shove-it-in-the-oven-and-forget-about-it endeavour became “Slow-cooked Shoulder of Lamb with a Puree of Wild Garlic and Caramelised Onions, served with Dauphinoise Potatoes, Confit Carrots and Leeks Sauteed in White Wine”…
It was bloody delicious.
One lamb shoulder
3 onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped off
A handful of freshly picked wild garlic leaves, roughly shredded
Preheat the oven to GM 8, put an oven dish inside and let the butter melt while you slice the onions.
Toss the onions, garlic and thyme leaves in the melted butter, season with plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Rub some of the melted butter over the lamb shoulder, season again and place on top of the bed of onions.
Give the lamb a blast in the oven at the high temperature for about 15 minutes, then cover with tin foil and turn the heat down to GM 4.
Leave the lamb to its own devices for as long as you want, but at least 2-3 hours to have it really starting to come apart.
Take the lamb out to rest somewhere warm, whack the oven up to its top temperature and put the onions on the top shelf to brown off and caramelize nicely.
Add the wild garlic to the onion mixture and whizz up to a thick puree in a food processor/blender. Carve the lamb and serve with the rich, sweet, garlicky puree.
If you are really looking for an occasion to test the durability of your arteries, then serve this with Dauphinoise Potatoes.