Slow-roasted vodka lamb shoulder

Slow-roasted vodka lamb shoulder

At Home with Ben
Mark Roper

Served on toasted sourdough, this is the perfect dish for lunch. It’s quite rich, so the addition of the gremolata is a great way to lighten it up. A simple wild rocket salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil would be the ideal accompaniment.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 2kg lamb shoulder, easy-carve or shoulder blade removed
12 prunes, pitted
2 large sprigs rosemary, broken and leaves removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
100g butter
1 onion, chopped
1 celery heart, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
150ml vodka
2 cups Basic chicken stock
or 2 cups beef stock

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 loaf sourdough
2 garlic cloves, peeled
olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 lemon, zested
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Make incisions in the lamb shoulder with a small knife and stuff with the prunes and rosemary. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, and sear the shoulder on all sides. Set aside to rest.
  3. Clean the pan and melt the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook over medium heat to soften. Add the garlic and bay leaves, followed by the tomatoes, paprika and vodka. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Place the seared leg of lamb in the pan so you have a snug fit, then add the stock. Cover with a loosely fitted piece of baking paper. Place in the oven and cook for 2½ –3 hours, until the meat is well cooked and the sauce is thick.
  5. Cut thick slices of sourdough and grill in a ridged pan on both sides. Rub with a clove of garlic and drizzle with good olive oil.
  6. Allow the lamb to rest for at least 30 minutes, then break into chunks and arrange over the toast.
  7. Chop the remaining clove of garlic, then dress the lamb with some sauce, parsley, lemon zest, chopped garlic, salt and pepper.
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