Entertaining in the week is something most of us try to avoid, but sometimes it just can’t be helped. Cue my latest favourite recipe that cooks all on its own and needs nothing but some steamed greens to make it presentable. It’s easy but it tastes like heaven! If you want to serve a pudding then have a look at the chocolate pots with rosemary which can be made the night before or opt for good old strawberries and cream.
- 1 medium shoulder of lamb
- 2 bulbs of fennel
- fresh thyme
- fresh rosemary
- fresh sage
- balsamic vinegar
- red wine
Place the lamb shoulder into a heavy based casserole (I find my Le Creuset shallow casserole is perfect for this recipe). Trim the fennel bulbs and chop them into four quarters and nestle around the lamb. Pour over half a glass of red wine and 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar then season to taste. Finally top the dish with generous quantities of fresh herbs from the garden.
Seal the flavours in with a layer of tin foil wrapped over and around the edges of the dish, then place the lid on top. Cook in the oven at 150º for around 5 hours, or until the meat is starting to pull away from the bone.
Turn up the heat for the last 30 minutes to brown the top then leave it to stand for 10 minutes before pulling the lamb off the bone and arranging it on a dish with the roasted fennel.
Pour the meat juices into a jug and serve with steamed greens: cavolo nero goes particularly well with this.
Tuck some dried prunes or apricots in with the fennel to add some sweetness – this also works well if you add moroccan spices such as cumin, cinnamon, coriander seeds etc. Whole cloves of garlic added at the start also add a creamy richness to the dish.
Prep time: 10 minutes – can be done the night before or early morning.
Cook time: 5 hours ish
Serves: 4 to 6