Leg of lamb is soooo last season. Next time you're planning to have people over you should seriously consider a shoulder of lamb. It's cheaper, tastier and a lot more interesting. What I love most about it is that when it's cooked you can easily tear the layer of fat away from the meat and chuck it, making this recipe a lot healthier than most lamb dishes.
Stuff you'll need to feed 6:
- One large shoulder of lamb
- About 12 cloves of garlic, skin on
- 10 - 12 sprigs of rosemary
- 8 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
- 1 butternut, peeled and cubed
- A packet of spinach
Okay, what to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius. Rub the lamb with olive oil and the anchovies. Season all over generously with salt and pepper.
2. In a large deep baking dish place half the rosemary and garlic and lay the lamb on top. (The layer of fat must face up.) Score the fat in two directions to make a "criss-cross" effect. Place the remaining rosemary and garlic on top of the lamb. Cover tightly with tin foil and bake in the oven for 4 hours.
3. When the lamb is done, remove from the oven and set aside to rest for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the butternut in boiling water until soft. Drain the butternut, squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves and mash with a fork.
4. Cook the spinach in boiling water and then plunge it into cold water to stop it cooking. Squeeze dry.
5. When the meat has rested, remove foil and strip away layer of fat from the meat. Using two forks pull the meat from the bone. If everything has gone according to plan the meat should fall away from the bones easily.
6. To serve, place shredded meat on a plate alongside butternut and some spinach. I like the rustic approach of presenting this particular meal. It adds to the comfort-food vibe you are going for.
Obviously because of the long cooking time this meal lends itself to the weekends but what you could do is get everything ready on a weekday, head home from work during lunch and bang it in the oven. Then when you get home later it's done. Leftovers are perfect in a wrap with a chopped salad and some yoghurt, or mixed into a couscous/chickpea salad.