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Slow-cooked Lamb Shoulder with Butterbean Mash and Sticky Shallots

Slow cooking makes the very best of this special cut and, though the cook will receive complements, it’s really very easy indeed.

  • Prepare: 15 Minutes
  • Cook: 4 Hours
  • Serves 4
Ingredients & instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 140˚C fan. Put a good glug of olive oil into a heavy roasting tray and heat it on the hob until the oil is starting to shimmer and sizzle. Sear the lamb shoulder on all sides until the skin is crisp and starting to turn golden brown, then remove and set aside.
  2. Turn down the heat a smidge and add your shallots to the same oil. Let them brown briefly before sprinkling in the sugar and pouring over the vinegar. Keep the pan moving, stirring until the sugar has melted and the sauce is caramelised – you can add a splash more vinegar if it seems too sticky.  
  3. Gather the shallots into the centre of the oven tray in a single layer (to act as a trivet for the lamb) and lay the rosemary sprigs on top. Balance the lamb on top of the shallots, lay the anchovies over the lamb then pour the warm stock around it. Cover the tray with well tucked-in foil or a lid, if it has one. Ideally, you want to stop as much as possible of the stock from evaporating. Put into the preheated oven and cook for about 4 hours. Check-in on it every so often, adding a splash of water if the liquid is low.
  4. Just before the lamb’s cooking time is up, heat the butter beans in their liquid in a large saucepan. When hot, drain them then add a splash of oil and plenty of salt and pepper and mash roughly. If you prefer a smoother finish you can purée them in a blender.
  5. The lamb will be falling-off-the-bone tender, so serve it in shredded chunks with the mash, shallots, richly reduced gravy and some iron-rich seasonal greens.

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