March 29th, 2009


Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb, Greek Style Salad and Warm Lamb Vinaigrette

Shoulder of lamb is level pegging with belly of pork when it comes to my favourite meat rankings. I simply love the flavour of the shoulder when cooked slowly for 24 hours at 63°C. It’s simply just delicious and melts in the mouth.

For Mother’s day this year we cooked the shoulder in the water bath for 24 hours, then crisped the fat under the grill. It was served alongside crispy, duck fat roasted potatoes and a very cheesy cauliflower mash. Mmm I’m still dreaming of that meal, as it was utterly good!

My speciality used to be confit shoulder of lamb cooked for 3 – 4 hours in duck fat then turned in to the ultimate shepherds pie or lasagne. I think this one should now take its place.

As spring’s approaching and we see  the little lambs grazing the fields, my brain starts to work overtime thinking about all the brilliant recipes that I can cook with new season lamb.


This slow cooked lamb could be served as a roast or plated as I did with a Greek style salad and warm lamb vinaigrette.

lamb_sous_videSlow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb
  • 800g shoulder of lamb, deboned
  • Large sprig for thyme, rosemary and savoury
  • 3tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Preheat the water bath to 63°C.

Wear clean disposable gloves when working with the lamb.

Wash the lamb under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Rub the salt and pepper into the lamb shoulder.

Place the shoulder of lamb in a clean vacuum bag, add the oil, thyme, rosemary, and savoury and crush the garlic with the palm of your hand.

Seal the vacuum bag on hard vacuum and cook the lamb for 24hours.

Once the lamb is cooked, cool the lamb in icy cold water until cold through out.

When read to serve, open the bag and remove the shoulder of lamb. Place the lamb skin side up on a baking tray. Pass the remaining liquid juices in the bag through a fine sieve into a small saucepan.

Heat the oven to 150°C, heat the lamb for 25 minutes then turn the oven to grill and grill the lamb until crispy and golden brown.

lamb_shoulder_roastWarm Lamb Vinaigrette:
  • Cooking juices from the lamb
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 150ml Madeira
  • 2tbs Sherry vinegar
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1tbs tomato puree
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small white onion
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ leek
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Wash and drain the vegetables. Cut them all in even size pieces about 2cm square.

Heat a medium saucepan with 1 tbs sunflower oil. Sautee the carrots, leeks, celery and onion until golden brown.

Add the bay leaf, thyme, coriander seeds and tomato puree, cook for 3 minutes.

Add the Madeira to deglaze the pan, cook until the Madeira has evaporated and become sticky.

Add the lamb juices and chicken stock.

Bring the sauce up to the boil, remove the impurities and reduce the sauce to a simmer.

Cook the lamb sauce until thick and sticky, it will reduce by 2/3rds before it’s ready.

Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean small saucepan.

When you’re ready to serve bring the sauce back to the boil and stir in the sherry vinegar and olive oil to taste. Serve the lamb vinaigrette warm.

Greek Style Salad
  • 1 courgette
  • 1tbs julienne of pickled lemon
  • 200g crumbed feta cheese
  • 1 Romano Pepper
  • 150g baby plum tomatoes
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • Olive oil
  • 100g kalamata olives
  • 4tbs Greek yoghurt
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 100°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Wash the baby plum tomatoes, cut them in half. Place the tomatoes in a bowl, season with freshly cracked black pepper, salt, a tablespoon of olive oil and picked thyme leaves.

Spread the tomatoes on the baking tray with their cut sides upwards.

Bake the tomatoes in the preheated oven for 2 hours; check them after one hour, as you might need to move them around to bake evenly.

Rub the Romano pepper with olive oil and roast in the oven at 200°C for 20 minutes.

Remove the pepper from the oven and leave to cool.

Peel and deseed the Romano pepper and slice into thin strips.

Heat a griddle pan. Wash the courgette and cut in 3mm thick slices, rub the slices with olive oil and seasoning, grill the courgettes on both sides on the hot griddle pan.

Remove the stones form the Kalamata olives and cut the olives in chunks.

Mix the Greek yoghurt with salt and pepper.

Wash and finely shred the sugar snap peas on an angle.

  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sugar, salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1tbs sherry vinegar
  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place the garlic, salt, sugar, mustard and vinegar in a pestle and mortar.

Crush until the garlic is pureed and the sugar dissolved.

Add the olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste. Mix well.

Assembly of the dish

Slice the hot lamb and heat the vinaigrette.

Plate the dish by starting with a swipe of the seasoned Greek yoghurt over one side of the plate.

In a mixing bowl mix the olives, sliced Romano peppers, chopped pickled lemons and oven dried baby plum tomatoes with a tablespoon of the vinaigrette.

Glaze the griddled courgette with the vinaigrette.

Arrange the vegetables in the centre and around the plate, place three slices of lamb onto to the vegetables and glaze with a tablespoon of the warm lamb vinaigrette.

Serves 4

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15 Comments to “Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb, Greek Style Salad and Warm Lamb Vinaigrette”

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  1. David says:


    Shoulder of Lamb and Belly Pork are also two of my favourite cuts of meat.

    If I wanted to prepare the shoulder of lamb in advance, after cooling in ice water, how long can I keep it in the fridge before it needs to be used? Would you remove the juices from the bag and re-vacuum pack the meat in a clean bag or can you just leave it as is in the fridge?

    Kind Regards

  2. Madalene says:

    Dear David,

    I usually keep the waterbath cooked meats in the sealed bags in the fridge for no longer that 5 days, do not open the bags, there is no need to remove the liquid, this will not improve the shelf life.
    Best keep it in the fridge as is.

    All the best,


  3. Zac says:

    Try marinating lamb shoulder in yoghurt flavoured with a little sumac, preserved lemon & garlic. Cook for similar temp & time. Yoghurt goes a little cheesey & is just delicious!

  4. Olav says:

    Cooked this yesterday — the sauce and salad turned out fantastic. The lamb, however, after 24 hours in my SousVide Supreme, had lost maybe 250 ml juice, and was actually slightly dry, and did not have the moistness that we associate with sousvide. This was my first time cooking something sousvide for such a long time. Any thoughts on what might have happened?


  5. Madalene says:

    HI Olav,

    What temperature did you cook the lamb at?
    I think each brand of waterbath is slightly different. When I first started cooking sousvide, it took me a while to find what works best for me.

    Hope your not giving up, try again and make sure you write down every time what you do so that you can try and make changes if needed, if not you have the record to hand.

    Happy Cooking

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