Braised lamb with peas, crème fraiche and mint

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This lamb shoulder recipe sees the entire cut slowly braised in a mixture of chicken stock, white wine and crème fraiche. The shallots, peas and mint provide the perfect accompaniment to the deliciously slow-cooked lamb.

This recipe is taken from The Book of St John by Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver (Ebury, £30).

First published in 2019





Season the shoulder well, then heat a large frying pan over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil and brown the lamb all over. Place it in an ovenproof dish or roasting tray large and deep enough to accommodate the joint with a little space
Gently sweat the shallots and garlic in the lamby frying pan for 3–4 minutes, without colouring them, and nestle these around the shoulder with the bundle of joy
  • 20 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • parsley stalks, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves (or whatever you have to hand), tied together with the mint stalks from above to create a 'bundle of joy'
Place the roasting tray over a medium heat and pour in the white wine. Reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and an extra glug of olive oil administered like squirts of factor 50 at the beach: a generous coating
  • chicken stock, a ready supply
  • 375ml of white wine
While the liquid returns to a simmer, take a small bowl and whisk together the mustard and crème fraiche, loosening the mixture with a couple of spoonfuls of the simmering stock. Pour the resulting sauce into the tray. The liquid does not have to cover everything – remember that you are looking for the alligators-in-the-swamp effect
Place in a barely medium oven for at least 3 hours; the crème fraiche and meat juices unify while it blips away. Check the shoulder with a skewer and, when the meat is tender and yielding, add the peas and return to simmer in the oven for a few minutes longer. Reinforce the seasoning if needed, discipline your mint leaves and fold through to finish
  • 2 bunches of mint, leaves picked
  • 2 handfuls of peas, fresh or frozen
The leftover braising juices and slippery peas make an excellent sauce for farfalle – a favourite for staff dinners

One of the most important, recognisable and beloved chefs of modern times, Fergus Henderson championed the nose-to-tail sustainable eating philosophy that has guided British food into a golden age.

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