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Craig James' Braised Shoulder of Lamb

Craig James' Braised Shoulder of Lamb

Craig James’ menus focus on classic brasserie dishes made from painstakingly sourced, seasonal British produce. He has kindly let us in on how to cook a beautifully tender shoulder of lamb, served with fondant potatoes and puy lentils. The lamb can be prepared in advance making this a stress free main course for four to six people.


  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 2l chicken or lamb stock
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary leaves, stalks removed
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 50g Farm Butter Salted
  • Peel 1 lemon
  • (leg of lamb from) NEW Denham Estate Tasting Boxes
  • 1 Denham Castle lamb shoulder, boned rolled and tied
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 100g puy lentils
  • 8 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Preparation:

    Chop 1 clove of garlic, the lemon peel and rosemary and mix with the sea salt. Open up the lamb shoulder, lay it flat onto a tray, and sprinkle over the sea salt mixture and leave to marinade for 24 hours. After 24 hours wash the shoulder to remove the excess salt, herbs and lemon peel.

    Preheat the oven to 150°C. Place the shoulder in a deep baking tray and pour over the stock, cover with tin foil and cook for 2 ½ hours or until a knife can be easily inserted into the meat without much resistance. When cooked, pour off the stock and retain, cool the shoulder completely. Cut the cooled shoulder into portion size square pieces.

    Cut each potato into two barrel shapes with a flat bottom and flat top. Stand up each potato piece in a tray and pour the reserved stock to half way up, add the thyme and 1 garlic clove and place a small knob of butter on each potato. Bake in the oven at 185°C for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft in the centre.

    Finely dice the remaining garlic clove and mix with the celery, carrot and onion. Gently soften in a pan being careful not to let the contents colour, and once soft add the lentils. Slowly add the remainder of the braising stock a bit at a time keeping the lentils covered and simmer for approx 10 minutes until the lentils are soft but still have a little bite left to them. Whisk a large knob of butter into the lentils to thicken the stock to make a sauce.

    To reheat the lamb heat a little oil in a pan, add the shoulder pieces skin side down and allow to crisp up in the pan, turn over and place the pan in a hot oven and cook for 10 minutes or until hot in the middle.

    To serve, stand up one or two potatoes on the plate and spoon on the lentils without too much of the sauce. Carve square shoulder pieces and lay onto the lentils and spoon over the sauce.