It is not the obvious wedding present of choice but a very kind cousin bestowed on us two of the most charming Jacob sheep back in 2009. With a small amount of organisation, a willing ram is brought in (it was Hercules this year) and 4 months later – hey presto – the lambs appear. A total genius present – the lambs are delicious, the sweetest, prettiest little things to see bouncing round the field, the 2 original ewes, known as ‘Thelma and Louise’ are completely wild, always on the run, but such brilliant mummies – they lamb themselves and are incredibly low maintenance. Needless to say the crueler side of nature does kick in and the little boys end up in our freezer the girls are kept on for breeding. Our flock is growing and this year we have 6 lambs – 3 pink and 3 blue !
We are now in the happy situation that we very rarely ever buy in lamb. Over the last year I have come up with a number of ways of using the less trendy cuts, so nothing ever gets wasted. One of my favorite recipes is slow roasting a shoulder to the point that the meat seductively just falls off the bone – it is melt in the mouth and even better with this anchovy, caper and parsley marinade, strangely the perfect marriage.
Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb with Anchovy and Parsley Marinade served with fine beans and slow roasted saffron tomatoes
2 tablespoons of really good quality salted anchovies
1 tablespoon of capers
1 handful of parsley
2 garlic cloves
A good slug of olive oil
1 shoulder of lamb
400gms of fine green beans
8 plum vine tomatoes
1 teaspoon of Maldon salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar a few strands of saffron, a good grind of black pepper – mixed together
- Take the lamb out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature for at least 2 hours before putting it in the oven.
- Set the oven at 120c and prepare the tomatoes – slice in half and scatter with the sugar,saffron and salt mix – place in the oven for 1 hour, or until shrunken back, remove and set aside.
- Put the anchovies, capers, parsley, garlic and olive oil in a container and blitz with a hand blender, make incisions over the lamb like a chequerboard through the fat and spread the marinade over – leave to seep in for at least 1 hour.
- Place the lamb in a roasting tin and put in a low oven 140 for at least 4 hours – wrap in foil tightly. I then leave it to sit for 30 minutes.
- Mean while top and tail the beans and blanche.
- Layer the beans up in a bowl with the saffron roasted tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil and serve alongside the slow roasted shoulder of lamb.
Serves 4 -6