Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb with Anchovy, Capers, Rosemary and Celery

Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb with Anchovy, Capers, Rosemary and Celery

Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb with Anchovy, Capers, Rosemary and Celery plated up

Easter is beckoning and if you are looking to go with the traditional lamb roast for the first Bank Holiday of 2023, this is a sure-fire winner. Inspired by a recipe from chef Oliver Rowe’s ‘Food For All Seasons', who has strong connections to Islington and the surrounding area, shoulder of lamb is the name of the game here.

And naturally, we’re giving it the low and slow treatment.

As we say at T&G, this cut is ‘utter perfection’ but there is always the slightly tricky aspect of carving up a shoulder. Well, the extended cooking time here does away with any of that worry, as the meat will simply pull away from the bone.

You will need to source a large head of celery though, as this is the principle vegetable used to encourage all that steam as the lamb gently braises away. Consisting largely of water, the delicate nature of celery is great when used in this way and rather than impacting on the meat, it actually soaks up all those delicious lamb juices.

Large head of celery and Turner & George shoulder of lamb

If you do get hold of a particularly leafy beast (and we recommend you do) the fronds work really well when incorporated as a side to the lamb, such Richard H. Turner’s creamed spinach from ‘Prime’. 

So we’ve added it here also. Waste not, want not and all that.

Ingredients - serves 6

2.5kg lamb shoulder 

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

6 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped

3 sprigs of rosemary leaves stripped and chopped

1½ heaped tbsp capers

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 head of celery, trimmed and chopped into batons

3 carrots, trimmed and chopped into batons

1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges

2 bay leaves 

1 sprig of thyme

1½ glasses white wine

Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Creamed celery and spinach

500ml double cream

5 anchovies

1 large rosemary sprig

4 garlic cloves, crushed

750g spinach

260g celery leaves

¼ nutmeg, grated

A little unsalted butter

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Turner & George shoulder of lamb marinated in anchovies, caper and rosemary


First, take the lamb from the fridge and trim any excessively fatty bits, but don’t be too severe as the fat will keep the meat moist and full of flavour.

Crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar with some salt to a fine purée and then add the chopped anchovy, capers, rosemary and Dijon to combine into a paste. Finally adding some black pepper at the end.

Rub the mixture all over the lamb thoroughly and then cover with cling and leave in the fridge for an hour or two.

Preheat your oven to 140°C and place the celery, carrots, onion and herbs into a large roasting tray and then place the shoulder of lamb on top. Pour the white wine around the side and cover loosely with some baking parchment or foil.

Pop into the oven and leave to gently braise for 4-5 hours. So take this opportunity to go for a long Easter walk. Possibly to the pub.

Remove the lamb from the oven and leave to rest for at least an hour and remove the vegetables and put to one side. Strain the liquid into a jug and leave to cool a touch and settle before skimming off the fat.

About half an hour before you are ready to serve, whack the oven up to 220°C and place the lamb and vegetables back in to crisp up and to finish off for 10 minutes.

Slow braised lamb with anchovies, capers, rosemary

Whilst the lamb is resting, get your creamed spinach and celery leaves going by placing the cream, anchovies, rosemary, garlic, nutmeg in a pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.

Wash and wilt down the spinach and celery in a pan on the hob and then drain and squeeze with the back of a spoon to remove the excess moisture. Put the leaves back into the pan and then pass the hot cream through a sieve over them. Add the cayenne pepper, taste to season and keep warm.

Before serving, pull the bones from the shoulder (they should easily come out) and roughly carve up and place on a platter with the vegetables. Warm the gravy through and pour into a proper gravy boat and plate up, adding the creamed spinach and celery leaves along the way.

For extra veg, serve with creamed mash, sautéed potatoes or some proper roasties.

As was the case for this tasting!

Celery leaves, a perfect addition for Richard H. Turner's creamed spinach

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