Slow-cooked Whole Shoulder of Lamb with a Rich Gravy | Recipes | Borough Broth

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Slow-cooked Whole Shoulder of Lamb with a Rich Gravy

This mouth-watering roast lamb recipe features a rich, delicious lamb broth gravy. It requires some serious patience and a touch of elbow grease; However, if you’re a fan of sauces, the pay off is fully worth it. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon and if you time it right you can even fit in a stroll.

Written by
Ros Heathcote

Serves: 4-6
Cooking time: 6 hours


1 whole Lamb shoulder
½ jar anchovy fillets in olive oil
1 pouch organic grass-fed lamb broth
175ml red wine
2 yellow onions, quartered, skin on
1 red onion, quartered, skin on
2 carrots, 5mm slices, skin on
2 stalks of celery, 5mm slices
3 tbsp beef fat
2 tbsp corn flour
pinch sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C Fan / 200°C Electric / Gas Mark 6 / 400°F (US)
  2. Add the onions, carrot and celery so they’ve created a layer at the base of a deep roasting dish (called a trivet). Make sure they only cover one layer so they have space to roast and caramelise.
  3. In the fleshy parts of the lamb shoulder use a small sharp knife to create 5-6 holes around 1-2 cm deep. Once the holes are created try to prise them open so you can fill them with anchovies. Take each fillet and roll into a ball and fill each crater. Once all the holes are filled season the shoulder generously with sea salt on both sized and place on top of the vegetables in the pan.
  4. Cover the pan with tin foil ensuring there is no room for steam to disappear and place in the oven for an hour.
  5. Turn the oven down to 150°C Fan / 170°C Electric / Gas Mark 3 / 325°F (US)
  6. Remove from the oven and uncover, the veggies should be all sticky and goey in amongst the lamb fat. At this stage add the wine and lamb broth, lift the lamb shoulder and ensure everything is stirred and distributed evenly.
  7. Replace the foil again as securely as possible with no gaps for steam to disappear and put back in the oven. Leave for 4 hours.
  8. Turn the temperature up to 200°C Fan / 240°C Electric / Gas Mark 9 / 475°F (US)
  9. Remove the dish from the oven, this time we need to uncover, baste the lamb and cook for the final time to brown up the skin. Ensure there’s a good amount of liquid left in the dish so that the vegetables are swimming in liquid but the lamb skin is fully exposed. I would suggest around 1-2cm deep of liquid. If it’s somehow evaporated and looking dry then add more liquid at this stage. Try to use a ratio of around 1 tbsp wine to 2 tbsp broth. Don’t get too precious about it though and you can always loosen with a touch of water too. Place back in the oven for 30 minutes uncovered.
  10. Finally, remove the lamb, the skin should now be crisp and the meat very juicy and tender. Cover the lamb and rest. The liquor should be slightly reduced but still of pouring consistency. Ensure any caramelised bits stuck to the pan are dislodged into the liquid and scrape everything into a saucepan to place on the hob.
  11. Review the liquid-to-veg ratio but this should be vegetables visible but swimming in liquid. Add more broth/wine/water if it’s too reduced.
  12. If the meat is particularly fatty and has left a lot of fat in the pan, remove only clear fat floating at the top of the dish with a spoon by tilting the pan sideways so the fat collects in one corner. Another trick is to place a paper towel very carefully on top of the liquid so it soaks up the top layer of fat. Just make sure you don’t soak up the dark, delicious flavoursome jus.
  13. Simmer this on the hob for around 20 minutes so it’s reduced further with everything cooked out of the vegetables. Use a spoon or fork to crush the vegetables against the side of the saucepan so they disperse their flavour into the gravy but are not fully mashed like a soup.
  14. If you like thicker gravy this is the time to add a slurry. For a still relatively jus-like thinner glossy gravy use 2 tbsp cornflour and 4 tbsp water in a mug and stir so it’s fully dissolved into a slurry. (If you add the cornflower to the gravy dry it will go lumpy). Pour the slurry into the broth and continue to simmer and stir for another 5-8 minutes. If it’s not thick enough for your liking add 1 tbsp cornflour at a time and cook for a further 5 minutes to ensure it’s thickened appropriately and cooked through as to not taste floury.
  15. Finally, you’re ready to strain and serve. Use a strong sieve over a heatproof dish, pour the gravy through the sieve and spend some time stirring the veggies so everything is squeezed out of them and the gravy has fully filtered through into the dish.
  16. Discard the veggies or save in the freezer for creating a hash, broth or stock in future.
  17. Reheat the gravy when you’re ready to serve. Save any leftover gravy for dunking leftovers later.

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