Slow-braised shoulder of lamb with onions, thyme and balsamic

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This hearty slow cooked lamb shoulder recipe, with its creamy mashed potato pairing, makes a wonderful and rustic lamb dinner. Slowly braising the lamb shoulder in a rich sauce, as Tom Aikens does here, ensures that the meat's full, immense flavour is drawn out. You can either slice or shred the meat from the bone to serve.

First published in 2015




Braised shoulder of lamb

Mashed potato


  • Mouli
  • Large casserole pot


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4
Rub the shoulder of lamb with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a little more olive oil into the bottom of a large casserole pot with the onions, garlic and thyme, sit the lamb on top. Place into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the lamb and onions have coloured
Remove the pot from the oven. Turn the oven down to 110ºC. Cover with a suitable lid and cook for approximately 5 hours
After 5 hours, remove the garlic and onions from the pot and reserve. Add the balsamic vinegar, and continue to cook for a further 1-1/2 hours, without the lid on. Baste the shoulder in the vinegar liquid every 20 minutes
  • 250ml of balsamic vinegar
Between bastings, prepare the mashed potato. Cut the potatoes into 2 inch pieces and rinse in cold water. Place the potatoes into a pan with the water and salt. Place over the heat and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer for 25-35 minutes, until they are just tender and drain
Place the potatoes into a mouli with the butter and grind into a bowl (you could also use a potato masher for this process)
Place the mixture back into the pan, add salt to taste, pepper and warm milk, stir until smooth. Set aside to keep warm while you finish the lamb
Transfer the lamb from the oven to the stove top and place over a low heat to reduce any excess liquid. Baste the lamb in the liquid as you reduce
Add the onions and garlic back with the lamb for 10 minutes to reheat
To serve, cut the braised lamb into 4 portions. Serve with the onions, garlic and mash

Tom Aikens is one of the most creative and talented chefs Britain has ever seen, with a restaurant empire to match.

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