It’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK this weekend – hooray! No Sunday night feeling this weekend 🙂 If you’re planning to cook something a little special, then look no further – we made this amazing lamb dish at Easter and it is my new favourite. It serves 4 people but we served 2 people with this meal and then used the other 2 portions for a fab leftover recipe – look out for that soon…
The recipe for the roast shoulder of lamb with herbs and honey is by Valentine Warner and comes from the BBC website. The recipe for roast red onions with basil comes from Nigella Lawson’s ‘Nigellissima’. I’ve written the method here combining the two recipes, so that you can just follow one thing if you want to make them both!
For the lamb:
1.4kg/3lb shoulder of lamb, trimmed
A handful of dried camomile (or the contents of 4 camomile teabags)
½ bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
12 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juice only
1 tbsp good Greek or wild flower clear honey
2 tbsp olive oil
125ml/4fl oz water
For the roast red onions with basil (for 4 people)
500-600g small red onions, quartered then peeled
70ml olive oil
1 tsp fennel seeds (we actually used cumin seeds because Tom hates fennel!)
1 tsp sea salt flakes (or to taste)
1 tsp best-quality balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
Large bunch fresh basil (approx. 50g)
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. With the tip of a sharp knife, make shallow scores through the outer layer of skin and fat of the lamb shoulder, but not into the meat, cross-hatching the entire surface.
3. Mix the dried camomile, the thyme, rosemary, sage and oregano together in a bowl. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Press a handful of the herb mixture into the skin of the lamb, massaging it in well all over the flesh of the lamb. Sprinkle some of the herb mixture across the bottom of a casserole dish with a lid, and then place the lamb into the dish.
5. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top, before sprinkling with any remaining herb mix. Then drizzle the honey over the top of the lamb and pour over a little olive oil.
6. Pour the water into the casserole, then put the lid on. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2½ hours. Check the dish after one hour – the lamb should be taking on a little colour. If the water has evaporated, add a little more to maintain the dish’s moisture.
7. When you check the lamb after 1 hour, tip the quartered onions into a roasting tin. Pour the olive oil over them and then scatter over the fennel (or cumin) seeds, and then shake the tin to ensure that all the onions are coated. Put the tin in the oven and cook for 1 hour.
8. After 1 hour, remove the onions from the oven and sprinkle with the salt and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the top. Leave (for up to 1 hour) to come to room temperature, or keep warm if you prefer.
9. After the 2½ hours cooking the lamb meat should pull away easily from the bone. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes. We made some gravy with the meat juices by adding a few gravy granules.
10. To serve, using a knife and fork, pull large pieces of meat away from the bone and arrange on plates. Add the basil leaves to the onions and mix everything together before plating up. We also had Yorkshire puddings (not homemade – sorry!) and the gravy too. We’ll be making this again very soon! 🙂