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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sunday roast shoulder of lamb

I’m meant to be revising for my AS exams in May but have instead decided to spend this Sunday in the kitchen. After having a lie-in, fresh coffee and a flick through the Sunday Telegraph, I went to work on a recipe for shoulder of lamb. It was based on one dating back to 1660, written by Robert May in his book ‘The Accomplish’t Cook’. It was meant to have oysters added to the gravy but I decided not to include them, not only because to me, they taste of congealed sea water, but also because they would have doubled the cost of ingredients. Lamb is pricey enough anyway!

I bought a bone-in shoulder (weighing about 2.3kg), took it out of the fridge in the morning and seasoned it with 1 tablespoon finely chopped dried marjoram, the zest of 1 lemon, a generous grating of nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon salt. Once the shoulder was cooked, and it took about two hours in a hot oven, the gravy was made by returning 2 tablespoons of the fat to the roasting tin, heating gently and cooking a peeled and finely chopped shallot, just to soften, then by adding 1 tablespoon plain flour, stirring and cooking until lightly browned; once the roasting juices were stirred in to make a smooth gravy, some freshly boiled water was added from the kettle to make it go further but still be quite thick.

I served the lamb with dauphinoise potatoes made with an indulgent amount of cream, butter and cheese, then lightly steamed purple sprouting broccoli from the garden and carrots, parboiled then roasted in the oven in 3 tablespoons of redcurrant jelly mixed together with a dash of soy sauce and generous squeeze of sweet chilli sauce.

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