This Lamb Shoulder with Mint and Caper Gravy, by Jamie Oliver, can be enjoyed all year round without having to rely on lamb that has been shipped from New Zealand. Everyone thinks that the local lamb season is late spring-early summer as the young lamb is the most tender. That’s completely true but only applies for the finer cuts like loin or rack. For cheap, working cuts like the lamb shoulder, you really need to cook it really low-and-slow as all the connective tissue in these cuts take a long time to render down and baste the meat from within. So why not have it at any time of year because the meat will be falling apart anyway even if it’s from an older animal. In fact, the older a lamb is, the more flavoursome the meat becomes so for low-and-slow cooking hogget (lamb over a year old) or mutton (fully grown sheep) are better. Stick to the young lambs for the more expensive cuts as they need less cooking.
The downside here is that this meat will never look good. As a food blogger that aught to be a deal-breaker as you, the audience, eat with your eyes and unfortunately slow-cooked, pulled lamb shoulder looks a bit messy. But I can reassure you that cooking this cut in the way gives you a really meaty, flavoursome meal.
Lamb Shoulder with Mint and Caper Gravy
- 2Kg Lamb shoulder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sea salt fakes
- 1 handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp flour
- 500ml lamb stock or water
- Place the lamb in a roasting tray rub 2 tbsp of olive oil all over it. Sprinkle over about 1 tbsp of sea salt flakes. Crumple up a sheet of parchment under a running tap and place it over the lamb and tuck in the edges under the lamb. Add a half a mug of water to the tray and transfer to a preheated oven at 170 degrees Celsius for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, remove the parchment and return to the oven for another hour.
- Then take out the lamb and transfer it to a carving board and tent it in foil.
- Pour out and discard most of the fat from the tray and transfer the tray to the hob over a medium heat.
- Add the flour and whisk in int the remaining little bit of fat to form a paste.
- Add the stock and whisk in, removing all the brown bits from the bottom of the tray.
- After simmering and thickening for a few minutes, add the chopped mint and capers. Mix in and taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Carve the lamb by removing the bones and shredding the meat up with 2 forks.
- Transfer to a serving dish and pour over some of the gravy. Serve the rest of the gravy at the table for people to help themselves.