Shoulder of mountain lamb with leek-wrapped loin and champ


  • 1 shoulder of lamb on the bone, about 1.5kg/3lb 5oz, trimmed of excess fat and sinew, and bone fully cleaned (you can ask your butcher to prepare this for you)

  • few sprigs each of rosemary and thyme

  • olive oil

  • selection of finely cubed vegetables (2 carrots, 2 celery sticks and 1 large onion)

  • ½ x 75cl bottle dry white wine

  • 200ml/7fl oz white wine vinegar

  • 1 best end (rack) of lamb, meat removed from the bones in one piece and bones reserved

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 250g/9oz button mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 large leek, leaves separated

  • knob of unsalted butter

For the onion soubise
For the champ
For the garnish
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz broad beans in their pods, pods remove

  • 500g/1lb 2oz peas in their pods, pods removed

  • 50g/2oz unsalted butter

Preparation method

  1. Prick the shoulder of lamb all over with a sharp knife and then insert the rosemary and thyme sprigs into the holes. Brush lightly with olive oil. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.

  2. The next day, preheat the oven to 190C/375/Gas 5.

  3. Season the lamb and sear in hot olive oil in a heavy frying pan until well coloured on all sides. Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a large flameproof casserole that has a tight-fitting lid. Add the chopped vegetables and sweat over a low to medium heat for 8-9 minutes or until softened but not coloured, stirring frequently.

  4. Place the lamb shoulder on the chopped vegetables. Pour over the wine and wine vinegar, and bring just to the boil. Cover the casserole with two layers of foil and tie with string, then put on the lid. Transfer to the oven to cook for one hour. Lower the temperature to 130C/265F/Gas ½ and cook for a further three hours, removing the lid and foil for the last 30 minutes. When cooked, remove from the oven and set aside.

  5. While the lamb shoulder is in the oven, season the best end of lamb with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then sear on all sides in a little hot olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest.

  6. Clean the pan, then heat a little more olive oil and sweat the onion until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and soften briefly, then add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Cool slightly, then tip into a blender and blend until finely chopped.

  7. Blanch four large leek leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain and refresh in iced water, then drain and dry. Lay two large (catering-size) sheets of cling film on top of each other on a work surface and smooth out any wrinkles. Lay the leek leaves next to each other on the cling film, overlapping them slightly so they form a rectangular sheet of leaves. Spread the mushroom stuffing over the leeks. Place the seared best end of lamb at one of the narrow ends and roll up to encase the meat in the sheet of leeks. Now roll the parcel in the cling film and tie the ends tightly with string. Set aside.

  8. To make the onion soubise, sweat the onions, shallots, garlic and thyme in a little olive oil in a heavy pan for 8-9 minutes, stirring frequently. When the mix is soft and juicy but not coloured, remove the pan from the heat, cover and leave to cool slightly. Blend in a blender or food processor with the knob of butter, then pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Keep warm.

  9. For the champ, cook the potatoes in their skins in a pan of simmering salted water for 20-30 minutes or until just tender (the flesh should offer no resistance when pierced in the centre with the tip of a small, sharp knife). Drain the potatoes and remove the skins, then lightly mash the flesh. In a small pan, combine the milk and butter, and bring to the boil. Add the spring onions, chives and shallot, remove from the heat and allow to infuse for about one minute. Stir this into the mashed potatoes and season. Keep warm.

  10. While the potatoes are simmering, prepare the garnish and sauce. Blanch the broad beans and peas in separate pans of boiling salted water until tender. The beans should take 3-4 minutes, the peas 1-2 minutes. Drain and refresh in iced water, then drain again. Remove the outer skins from the beans. Set the garnish vegetables aside.

  11. Lift the shoulder of lamb off vegetables, cover and keep warm. Tip the contents of the casserole into a fine sieve and strain the liquid into a bowl; discard the solids. Deglaze the casserole with enough water to cover the bottom, then add this liquid to the strained liquid.

  12. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan until almost smoking. Add the bones and any trimmings from the best end of lamb, season and fry for 3-4 minutes or until well coloured and almost caramelised. Add the liquid from the lamb shoulder and reduce by half, then pass through a sieve lined with wet muslin into a clean pan. Add a knob of butter, season to taste and set aside.

  13. Steam the leek-wrapped lamb parcel in a steamer over boiling water for three minutes. Reheat the broad beans with the butter and a spoonful of water for 1-2 minutes, then add the peas and toss with the beans until hot. Reheat the onion soubise and champ, if necessary.

  14. To serve, cut the lamb parcel into portions and carefully remove the cling film. Divide the shoulder of lamb into chunks with a spoon and put some chunks on top of the peas and beans on one side of each of four plates. Arrange a spoonful of soubise on the opposite side and top with the leek-wrapped best end of lamb. Spoon some champ on each place, then drizzle a little sauce over both types of lamb and around the plate.

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Great British Menu bbc_two Great British Menu

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