Slow roasted lamb with Balsamic Vinegar, fennel, celery and black olives
This rustic lamb dish has plenty of big and bold flavours. Cooking the lamb with some liquid allows you to capture all its juices which will then concentrate down when you baste and glaze it towards the end. When cooked, pulling apart the shoulder means you can cover all the meat with the rich and flavoursome liquor.
2kg piece of bone – in lamb shoulder
1tsp ground fennel seeds
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
3 anchovies, finely chopped or crushed to a paste
1 bunch thyme, ½ of it chopped
1 large bulb fennel
3 sticks celery
200 ml white wine
400 ml chicken, lamb or veg stock
250g pitted Black Douce Olives
200ml 1.17 Balsamic Vinegar
- Make the marinade for the lamb by mixing the fennel seeds, garlic and chopped thyme with a little oil. Rub all over the lamb and allow them to get to know each other for at least an hour but ideally 6 – 8 hours.
- Heat an oven to 130°C. Chop the fennel in half and then into slices 1 cm thick. Cut the celery into 4 cm diagonal pieces. Arrange these on the base of a roasting tin, along with the thyme and place the lamb on top. Add the stock and wine and cover tightly with foil, so that steam cannot escape. Put in the oven and cook for around 3 to 12 hours.
- Take out the oven and carefully remove the foil. Check the lamb to see if it is starting to soften, by pulling or pushing at the bones. If they are still firmly in place, then replace the foil and continue to cook for an hour. If they are starting to move, use a large spoon or label and skim off some of the fat from the liquid. Add the balsamic vinegar, mix with the liquor and spoon over the lamb. Put back in the oven and then baste the lamb with the juice every 10 minutes for another hour, so that the outside gets a dark, crispy glaze. Add the olives and continue to roast for another 15 minutes. The lamb should now be tender and falling apart.