Recipe of the month

Roast Shoulder of Lamb with Lavender Honey & Red Grape Mustard

Serves 6

Red grape mustard or Dijon mustard.
2.2kg shoulder of lamb with bone in
1 tbsp piment d' espelette powder
1 bunch of fresh mint
2 lemons roughly chopped, unwaxed if possible
100g lavender honey or a floral-scented honey instead
100g red grape mustard
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, broken into smaller sprigs
10 whole sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into 4 lengthways
5 carrots, peeled
½ celeriac, peeled and cut into large cubes
3 parsnips, peeled and halved
4 potatoes, peeled and halved
1 fennel bulb, quartered
2 onions, peeled & quartered
200ml extra virgin olive oil
1 liter beef or chicken stock
Maldon salt flakes 
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C / gas mark 6. Trim any excess fat off the lamb. Using a sharp knife make small slits in the flesh and insert sprigs of rosemary and garlic cloves, then rub all over with salt and piment d’espelette.

2. Put all the herbs and vegetables into a deep roasting pan, season with pepper, and place the lamb carefully on top. Cover generously with olive oil and place in the oven for one hour, until the lamb begins to turn golden.

3. Remove the lamb from the oven, add the stock to the roasting pan and continue cooking for another hour. If the lamb begins to brown too much, cover with tin foil.

4. After 2 hours of cooking in total, remove the lamb from the roasting tray, putting the vegetables into an ovenproof dish to keep warm and the unstrained liquor into a heavy bottomed saucepan.

5. Turn the oven down to 140°C / gas mark 1. Place the lamb back into the roasting pan, spread the honey and red grape mustard over the meat and bake for another 40 minutes until the lamb easily comes away from the bone – you may have to cook it a little longer to achieve this.

6. Gently heat the cooking liquor and simmer until the liquid reduces by half. When ready, do not strain – the small vegetable pieces will help thicken the sauce. Skim the majority of the fat from the top of the liquid (you can leave a little if you like – it adds flavour). Season to taste.

7. Take the lamb out of the oven and place on a warmed platter surrounded by the roasted vegetables. Squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle the chopped mint on top, and serve with the sauce in a warmed jug on the side.

8. To serve, the meat can be carved or simply pulled off from the bone in chunks.

Mint Sauce (optional) Small bunch of fresh mint, leaves only, finely chopped 30ml clear honey or golden syrup 90ml white wine vinegar Whisk all ingredients together and serve.