Whoever discovered the perfect matrimony of lamb and anchovies is my idol.
This is a simple recipe which involves a bit of prep to start, then a long lazy cook in the oven during which you might forget about it, if it weren't for the incredible smell of roasting meat which inevitably lures you back to your kitchen to repeatedly check if the lamb is done.
This rich, buttery, savoury, umami-bomb of a roast is accompanied by boulangère potatoes, which are sliced potatoes slow cooked in broth. The spuds catch the precious meat juices from the lamb, developing a delicious brown crust on top which masks layers of soft, creamy, meaty potatoes underneath. Cooking the potatoes in bone broth will help you digest all that meaty, indulgent goodness.
Caveat: must admit that the photo is a bit misleading. This cooking method yields a succulent, but carveable, rather than shreddable roast, which I realised post-photographing. Whoops.
Follow the recipe as a guide, but cooking times will largely depend on the size of the cut and your oven.
Serves: 5-6 people
Time: 3 - 5 hours
For the lamb:
1 shoulder of lamb, on the bone
125g butter, at room temperature
8 anchovy fillets
Salt and pepper
For the potatoes:
750g potatoes, sliced to about the thickness of a £1 coin (don't worry about being too precise: it will cook for so long that it doesn't really matter)
1.5 - 2 onions, sliced
2 - 3 cloves garlic, sliced *
A few sprigs of rosemary
1 pouch Borough Broth Co Organic Chicken Bone Broth or Lamb Bone Broth
A little butter, to coat the dish
* indicates optional ingredients
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C / 150°C fan
To prep the potatoes: heat up the broth in a small pan. Meanwhile, slice the bottom off a clove of garlic, and rub the cut end all around a large roasting dish. Then dab some butter around the bottom and sides of the dish
Lay down a layer of potatoes, followed by a sprinkling of onion, garlic, salt, pepper and a few rosemary leaves, then repeat until you've run out of potatoes. (You can add a few cheeky anchovies in between the layers too for extra seasoning - no one will know.) Pour the broth over the potatoes
To prepare the lamb: first in a small bowl or plate, using the back of a fork, mash the butter and anchovies together
Smear the anchovy butter all over the lamb, getting into every nook and cranny
Season all over with a little salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Use a knife to pierce a few holes into the skin and pop some short sprigs of rosemary into the lamb
Place the potato dish into the middle of the oven, and place the lamb on a rack directly above it. (If your potato dish isn't large enough, you may wish to put a large roasting tray on the bottom shelf of the oven to catch any extra dripping)
Leave to cook until the lamb skin is well browned and crispy, the meat is soft, and the potatoes are nicely browned on top
Serve with wilted greens and peas. (Or not.)
This recipe was inspired by an Olive Magazine online recipe.