Roasted shoulder of lamb with watercress pesto and vegetables Provençal


For the lamb:

  • 1 whole lamb shoulder, bone in

  • 1 bulb garlic

  • 10 sprigs rosemary

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • For the vegetables:

  • 4 sprigs thyme

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 2 red onions

  • 1 aubergine

  • 2 courgettes

  • 2 beef tomatoes or 4 plum tomatoes

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1 yellow pepper

  • 1 bunch basil

  • 6 bay leaves

  • Olive oil

For the pesto:

  • 65g watercress, roughly chopped

  • 1 clove of garlic,

  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts

  • 50-75ml olive oil

  • 50g finely grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400°C (or as high as it will go). Use a sharp knife to make deep incisions all over the lamb, then push a clove of garlic and sprig of rosemary into each one so that they are completely tucked inside the meat. Rub the lamb all over with olive oil and season well with sea salt and black pepper.

Place the lamb on a large baking tray and cover tightly with foil, double wrapping if necessary. Put into the centre of the oven and turn the temperature down to 140°C. Cook for four hours before removing from the oven. Once the four hours is up, remove the lamb from the oven and check that the meat is falling of the bone, then replace the foil and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes.

For the vegetables, finely slice the red onion and fry in olive oil until softened. Add the leaves from the thyme sprig, garlic, and salt and pepper then spread the mix on the bottom of a round roasting dish.

Slice the aubergine, courgette and tomatoes to around 1cm thick. Layer them upright around the edge of the roasting dish, seasoning well with salt and pepper as you go and tucking the thyme, bay leaves and basil in-between. Deseed the peppers and cut into quite large chunks. Pile them up in the middle, then drizzle everything generously with olive oil and season again with salt and pepper.

Place into the oven with the lamb and cook for around 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and softened. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

For the pesto, place the watercress, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts in a food processor and puree. Drizzle in the olive oil, pulsing for a few seconds at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Pour into a bowl and season to taste.

Finally serve the rested lamb whole at the table alongside the dish of vegetables and a bowl of pesto for drizzling.

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