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Lemony lamb shoulder with potatoes

Recipe from: 12 September 2012
Preparation time: 30 min
Cooking time: 4h 30 min
Pop the potatoes in the oven and bring the packets to the table all puffed and golden.


  • 2
    large shoulders of lamb - bone in, or
  • 2
    legs of lamb (1 for 6 people)
  • 12
    fat cloves garlic - peeled
  • 1/2
    flaky sea salt
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 45
    good-quality dried oregano
  • 30
    olive oil
  • 2
    large onions - peeled and sliced
  • milled black pepper
  • 375
    dry white wine
  • plus more for topping up
  • juice of 2 large lemons - plus more for
  • 2
    bunches flat-leaf parsley
  • for the potatoes:
  • 2
    tiny new potatoes
  • salt and milled black pepper
  • 4
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • a little melted butter - for brushing
Servings: Change Serving


Heat the oven to 150°C. Cut any large blobs of fat off the lamb. Finely grate six of the garlic cloves, place in a bowl and stir in the salt, lemon zest, 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the oregano and the olive oil.

Using a sharp knife, pierce the thick parts of the lamb (top and bottom) in 8–10 places,at a diagonal, to a depth of 3 cm. Push a little garlic paste deep into each cut and rub any remaining paste over the top of the joints. Put the onion slices and remaining garlic cloves into a large roasting pan and place the lamb on top.

Sprinkle with the remaining oregano and plenty of black pepper, pour in the wine and lemon juice and cover tightly with two layers of heavy foil. Place in the oven.

After 3½ hours, remove the foil, turn the heat down to 140 °C and switch off the oven fan. Season the lamb with salt, to taste. Roast, basting now and then with the pan juices, for a further 1½ hours, or until the lamb is brown and sticky and falling off the bone. Top up with more wine and lemon juice if necessary: the liquid in the pan should be about 1 cm deep.

For the potatoes, cut out eight circles of baking paper, each the size of a dinner plate. Prick the potatoes and divide them between the paper circles.

Season with salt and pepper and add a knob of butter, a sprig of thyme, a sprinkling of lemon zest, and any other flavourings you fancy. Fold each circle in half to make a semicircle and tightly seal the edges by making small, overlapping pleats all the way round.

Brush the tops of the parcels with melted butter and place on a baking sheet. An hour before you’re ready to serve the lamb, place the parcels in the oven and bake for the remaining time or until quite tender (see Notes).

Lay a bed of flat-leaf parsley on a large platter and place the lamb on top. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Pour the juices from the pan into a small jug and skim off the fat. Serve hot, with the potato parcels, and pass the pan juices round in a jug.

Reprinted with permission of Scrumptious South Africa and published by Random House Struik.


Read more on: recipe  |  slowcook  |  lamb


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Tip of the day

Carving meat
Always allow your roast to rest for 5 to 15 minutes before carving so that the juices can be reabsorbed and the meat presents an even surface when sliced. Use a short- or long-bladed knife, and a two-pronged carving fork with a guard. To prevent the meat from losing juice, steady it with the flat of the fork, rather than piercing.

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