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Jay Rayner’s Braised shoulder of lamb

Recipe – © ‘Ten Commandments of Food’ by Jay Rayner


  1. Heat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Meanwhile heat a deep roasting tin big enough to take the whole shoulder of lamb, on the stove top. Pour in the olive oil. Season the lamb shoulder liberally with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides. This is a lengthy job and will require you to stand over it, tipping the piece of meat this way and that with tongs to make sure it’s as well browned as possible. Don’t be too obsessive. Just some colour is good. When done, remove from the roasting tin to a plate.
  3. Add the onion and the chorizo and cook until it’s caramelised, and then the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  4. Deglaze with the red wine, scraping away at any bits on the bottom. Boil on a high heat for two minutes to burn off the alcohol.
  5. Top up with the chicken stock, throw in the brown sugar and stir.
  6. Return the lamb shoulder to the pan. The liquor should at least cover it by half. If it’s a particularly square, deep piece, add another pint of stock.
  7. Cover the whole tin with foil and place in the oven for four hours.
  8. Check it’s cooked by sticking two forks into the meat and pulling them apart. The meat should come away easily. If not return to the oven for another half an hour.
  9. Carefully strain the liquor into a pan, and begin to reduce over a moderate heat. Reduce by two thirds. Adjust seasoning to taste. You now have your gravy. Indeed, you’ll have far too much. I suggest you freeze some for another day and another dish.
  10. Meanwhile – drizzle the lamb with the runny honey. Turn the oven on to grill, and return the meat to the oven, basting with any honey that dribbles off every five minutes. After ten minutes it should be dark and sticky.
  11. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and rest for a good 20 minutes.