This requires making a marinade, marinading overnight then cooking low and slow, so get yourself organised the day before! For half a shoulder, just halve the marinade.

For the marinade:

  • 1 small onion or shallot
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 anchovies or a glug of anchovy essence
  • half tsp cumin seeds
  • half tsp coriander seeds
  • half tsp pepper cords, pink if possible
  • 2 tbs fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • 1 small bunch of mint
  • 70ml white wine
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • Shoulder of lamb

Zap the lot with a stick blender.  Now stab your lamb with a sharp knife all over, then place in a roasting tin. Slather over the marinade. Cover in clingfilm and leave overnight or a minimum of three hours in a cool place.

Take the lamb out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for an hour.

Heat the oven to 160C or 140C for a fan oven.

  • 2 large onions sliced thickly

Put the onions under the lamb. Take the clingfilm off and make a tent of foil over the lamb. Seal the edges well and make sure the tent has a dip before going over the edge or the steam hitting the foil from underneath may run out of the edge. Cook for 3-4 hours for a half shoulder, 5-6 hours for a whole shoulder. As long as the temperature is low enough, longer is fine. Have a peek now and again, baste the meat and add a splash or water if it is drying out.

At the end of the cooking time let the lamb rest for 15 minutes before carving. Actually, pulling apart rather than carving. You can make an awesome sauce with what is in the tin. Carefully pour off the rendered fat, add a spoon or two of flour and heat on the top of the stove, stirring gently. Add 350ml beef or lamb stock, and stir until it thickens.

Serve with a grematola made of lemon zest, finely chopped garlic and chopped mint.