Thursday 28 February 2013

Rustic Lamb Shoulder Roast Recipe

Though many serve fish as a main course for St David's Day (March 1st), it is still traditional to serve lamb on this day, and many still do so.

Here I have updated and adapted a traditional Welsh recipe for tatws popty (potatoes in the oven) that originally used breast of lamb to be cooked with a lamb shoulder. The original stock or water has also been replaced by a white wine and anchovy base that gives a richer and more satisfying sauce.

So, here we have a mix of traditional and modern to yield a new classic St David's day main course recipe.

Rustic Lamb Shoulder Roast

Serves: 6

This is an adaptation of the traditional Welsh 'tatws popty' or 'tatws a chig yn y popty' (lamb and potatoes in the oven) that is intended as a centrepiece roast for St David's day celebrations.

In essence it's a pot roast, but cooked with wine and anchovies to intensify the flavour rather than the more traditional lamb stock.
Shoulder of lamb cooked on a bed of potatoes and onion in a wine stock that is an ideal main course for St David's Day


1 whole shoulder of lamb
2 sprigs of thyme
100g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
60ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
4 onions, each sliced into 6 wedges
15 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bayleaves
6 anchovy fillets (the type in oil)
450ml (1 4/5 cups) white wine
6 floury potatoes (eg King Edward, Maris Piper), peeled and quartered
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


Heat a large casserole (or roasting tin) on the hob. Add the butter and olive oil and when foaming season the lamb liberally, add to the pan and fry over medium until browned all over (about 8 minutes). Remove the meat and set aside.

Add the onions, garlic, thyme and bayleaves to the pan and cook gently, shaking occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the onions have browned. Now stir in the anchovy fillets and the white wine then bring the mixture to a boil. Return the lamb to the casserole, cover with a sheet of foil and sit the lid on top (if using a roasting tin seal securely with foil).

Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 140ºC (275ºF, Gas Mark 1) and cook gently for 3 hours. At this point, remove the pot from the oven and add the potatoes. Cover once more, return to the oven and cook for 2 hours more. At this point, remove the lid, increase the heat to 190ºC (375ºF, Gas Mark 5) and cook for 20 minutes more to crisp the lamb skin.

Remove the lamb from the oven and set aside for 20 minutes to rest (cover with foil) as you continue cooking the potatoes in the oven.

Serve the lamb sliced, accompanied by the pan juices, the potatoes, creamed leeks and broccoli or spring greens.

For many more Welsh recipes, why not visit the Celtnet traditional Welsh recipes pages. If you would like other ideas for St David's day dishes, why not visit the Celtnet St David's day recipes page.

Below you will find links to all the recipes on this blog that go together to make a St David's day meal:

Cawl (Lamb and Vegetable Broth)
Risotto of Celtic Crab and Cardigan Bay Prawns

Main Courses:
Rustic Lamb Shoulder Roast
Salmon Baked with Potatoes and Thyme

Creamed Leeks

Pwdin Eryri (Snowdonia Pudding)

Other Dishes:
Welsh Cakes (Pice ar y Maen)

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