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Roast lamb shoulder with potatoes and fennel

Main Weekend project
Serves 4-6
Prep 30 min
Cook 4 hr 20 min

This almost all-in-one recipe is a great centrepiece for the Easter table. The potatoes and fennel absorb all of the lamb juices greedily, which makes them extremely flavourful and nearly more the stars of the show than the lamb. Get ahead by marinating the lamb and prepping all the veg the day before. Just make sure to bring the lamb to room temperature at least one hour before roasting.


1 bone-in lamb shoulder (about 1½kg), left at room temperature for about an hour
1½ tsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed in a mortar
1½ tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed in a mortar
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 medium king edward potatoes (750g), peeled and cut into 4cm pieces
3 fennel bulbs (600g), cut into 2cm wedges, fronds reserved
2 onions (360g), peeled, halved and cut into 3cm wedges
12 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tbsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
15g oregano leaves, roughly chopped
150ml dry white wine
300ml chicken stock
salt and black pepper


  1. First, marinate the lamb. Mix all the dry rub ingredients with a teaspoon and a half of salt, then massage all over the lamb shoulder. Marinate for an hour (or refrigerate overnight, if you’re getting ahead).
  2. Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F. Put all the ingredients for the vegetables apart from the fennel fronds in a large rectangular (roughly 28x30cm-wide) cast-iron roasting dish, add three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and mix well. Put the lamb in the centre, cover tightly with foil and roast for 3 hours.
  3. Remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 240C (220C)475F. Carefully remove the lamb, place on another parchment lined tray and replace in the oven. Cook for another 30-45 minutes until nicely coloured and fork tender. Remove from the oven once more, cover with foil and set aside to rest for 20-30 minutes. 
  4. Return the vegetables to the oven and roast for a further 20 minutes, until nicely browned with some crispy edges. 
  5. Replace the lamb and any juices collected on top of the vegetables, scatter the reserved fennel fronds over and serve.