- 2kg lamb shoulder, bone-in
- A handful of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- A handful of thyme
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 vegetable stock cube
Prep: 15 mins + warming | Cook: 4 hrs 30 mins + resting
1. Take the lamb shoulder out of the fridge, unwrap it and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Set aside on a plate or board, loosely covered with foil, for 1 hr to come to room temperature.
2. Heat your oven to as hot as it will go. Place 4-5 rosemary sprigs, 4-5 thyme sprigs and a bay leaf in a large roasting tin and scatter in the unpeeled garlic cloves. Sit the lamb shoulder on top of them. Use a sharp knife to score the lamb fat, then rub in 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
3. Cover the roasting tin with foil, scrunching it onto the sides to seal (or, if your tin has a lid, just pop that on). Slide the lamb into the oven and turn the heat down to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3. Roast for 4 hrs.
4. When the lamb has roasted for 4 hrs, take it out of the oven and careful peel off the foil (keep your fingers safe from the escaping steam). Slide back into the oven and roast for another 30 mins to brown the lamb. The lamb should be dark brown and very tender - it will fall apart if you press a fork into it. Lift the lamb out of the tin and place on a board or warm plate. Loosely cover with fresh foil and set aside for 1 hr to rest.
5. Lift the herbs out of the roasting tin and discard. Lift out the garlic cloves and set aside. Set the roasting tin aside for 30 mins so the fat rises to the surface. Crumble the stock cube into a jug and stir in 450ml boiling water to dissolve it (or you can use 225ml boiling water and 225ml red or white wine, or beer).
6. Scoop most of the excess fat out of the roasting tin, leaving about 1 tbsp worth in it. Squash the garlic cloves out of their skins with the back of a fork, mash them and stir them back into the roasting tin. Set the tin over a medium-low heat and warm for 2-3 mins, then add 1 tbsp plain flour and whisk well to combine.
7. Slowly whisk in the vegetable stock till it's combined with the roasting tin juices. Simmer for 5-10 mins till the gravy has thickened up a little. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve with the lamb.