I made this on Saturday, and gave the recipe to my father earlier this week. When I went round to their house yesterday he was carefully and methodically following the instructions to make it for their supper. I hope is was successful - it was certainly smelling promising as I left around 5pm.
It's a mix of several Jamie Oliver slow roast lamb recipes.
So, for a small household, (ie 2-4 portions), you need a half-shoulder or half leg of lamb, some red wine (or stock), a tin of chopped tomatoes, some shallots (or an onion), salt, pepper, olive oil, and herbs. I use fresh rosemary and a fresh bay leaf because that's what I have in the garden.
also a roasting dish and foil.
When I made this, we were seven for lunch, so I used three half shoulders and just increased quantities. We had loads on the day (with new potatoes and carrots) and enough for a meal for four leftover. I just heated up the meat with a little extra liquid (water and some cooking sherry) and served it with more new potatoes and peas. I put it in the oven at about nine am and we had lunch at about half past one.
You need to get to work at least four hours before you plan to eat, as this takes three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half hours to cook. I reckon you should allow about 15 minutes preparation time.
Set the oven to 200C
Pour a tablespoon or so of oil into the roasting dish and put the lamb in. Turn it over and over to coat it with the oil. Peel a couple of shallots per person, or peel an onion and quarter it, and drop it in with the lamb. Throw in about three peeled cloves of garlic, and the herbs.
Pour in about half the bottle of wine, or the equivalent amount of chicken or lamb or vegetable stock (made with a stock cube or whatever you've got). I've also made this with dry cider, and with white wine instead of red. Tip in a tin of tomatoes. Small is fine, use large because I don't buy small. Just make sure the roasting tin isn't brimming because then the liquid will try and climb out and drip onto the base of the oven.
Add some salt - how much? I don't properly know - maybe a couple of pinches, or a small half teaspoon? and a grind or so of black pepper.
Cover with foil, crimping the edges tightly round the edge of the roasting tin to seal it.
Put in oven AND TURN TEMPERATURE DOWN TO 170C
Leave it alone for a generous 3-4 hours. Half an hour before you plan to eat, start cooking your potatoes and veg.
To serve, remove foil (without burning yourself on the steam) and the meat should just fall off the bone in shreds. Spoon some of the juices and the shallots and garlic over it instead of gravy.
NOTE: you can add veg at the beginning along with the shallots; chunks of carrot, leeks, courgette, aubergine, can all go in and cook alongside the lamb.