Roast Lamb Shoulder Au Jus

Lamb – a symbol of spring! As I write this its the first day of Spring in the UK and its a Sunday so despite having lots of ‘real’ work to do all I can think about is preparing Easter crafts, planning an Easter cake and of course a traditional lamb roast! So I don’t think there is a more perfect day to share with you my roast lamb recipe.

The lamb, cooked in red wine and its own juices is fantastically succulent, served with its own jus it holds its own and doesn’t need to be lathered in gravy. This will make a stunning center piece on the dinner table over the Easter holidays and is easy to make.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6 )

Lamb shoulder or Leg – approx 2kg joint – It is essential that your joint is at room temperature before it goes in the oven so leave it out for a couple of hours either before or after prep)
Rosemary Sprigs – 5-6 large ones if some have flowers save them for the garnish
4 cloves of garlic – peeled and chopped into quarters long ways
2/3 Shallots – peeled and cut in half (long ways if using echalion shallots)
Red wine – about half a bottle (sounds like a lot but it will evaporate!)
Water – about 200ml
Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
Salt and pepper

  1. Lamb – Pre-heat the oven on gas mark 5. Pop the joint in a large roasting tray. Using a sharp but narrow knife,’stab’ the joint in its thickest parts and stuff in a quarter of garlic into each hole. Put two of the cloves (that’s 8 quarters) in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Rosemary – Do the same with the rosemary you can also slip some between the layers of meat and fat.
  3. Shallots – Place the shallots around the joint. Now sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Liquids – Pour in half of the wine and all of the water into the bottom of the pan.
  5. Place in the oven -Cover loosely with foil – this helps reduce the amount of juices that evaporate and steams the joint to make it juicy. Pop it in the oven on the middle shelf.
  6. This will need to cook approximately 1hr for every kilogram – so that’s around 2 hours for this joint.
  7. If roasting potatoes – add your par-boiled potatoes into a tray of hot fat preferable goose fat, in the last 30 minutes. with some salt pepper, rosemary and thyme sprigs and garlic bulbs.
  8. Lamb – in the last 30 minutes, check on the lamb add the reminding wine, put back in the oven, uncovered on a higher heat (Gas mark 6-7 will do). Remove from the oven, take the lamb out of the tray (onto a chopping board or carving plate) and let it sit covered for at least 15 minutes while you make the jus.
  9. Jus – Place a sieve over a sauce pan – strain the juices from the pan, you are looking to remove all the chunky bits of onion, garlic and herbs. Add some more pepper and the balsamic vinegar, simmer for about 10 mintues, or until it reduces a bit.
  10. Serve – Garnish the lamb with fresh preferably flowered rosemary sprigs, with the jug of jus, serve with potatoes and vegetables of choice and carve at the table.
  11. Enjoy and Happy Easter!

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