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Jamie Oliver’s Slow-roasted Lamb with Fennel, Sage, Onion and Merguez Stuffing

Jamie dials up the flavour in this recipe for slow-roasted lamb by stuffing it with spicy merguez sausages, garlic and herbs. With a little effort and extra preparation, it will revamp your Sunday lunch spread.

From the book

Jamie Oliver


Boning, stuffing and rolling the lamb means the flavourful filling infiltrates the meat as it cooks and vice versa. By stuffing the shoulder, you’re able to stretch the meat even further, and by removing the bones, the lamb is easier to carve – it’s a one-slice wonder!

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5 (250g total) merguez sausages
1 (20g) bunch of sage
2 small bulbs of fennel
2 red onions
250ml white wine
250g sourdough bread
3kg lamb shoulder, bone in (see tip below)
1 bulb of garlic
2 heaped tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp blackberry or blackcurrant jam

Essential kit

You will need: a high-sided roasting tray (25cm x 30cm)

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Jamie’s tip: Ask the butcher to debone the lamb, then slice into it so you can open it out like a book. Get them to break up the bones, too – epic gravy, incoming!

Get ahead: For the stuffing, put a high-sided roasting tray (25cm x 30cm) on a medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins straight into the pan, breaking it up with the back of a spoon. Let the sausage start to crisp up, stirring occasionally, then tear in the sage leaves. Trim the fennel, peel the onions, then roughly chop both, add to the tray, and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes, or until soft and caramelized, stirring occasionally. Pour in the wine and let it completely cook away, then season to perfection, tasting and tweaking. Chop the bread into 2cm chunks and stir in, then turn the heat off and leave to cool completely.

Lay out the lamb on a clean work surface. Scrunch and spread the cold stuffing all over the meat, then roll it up, sealing the filling inside (if any falls out, just poke it back in at the ends once tied up). Cut yourself eight 60cm lengths of string, slide them underneath the lamb at regular intervals, then tie them up at the top. Wipe out the tray, chuck in the lamb bones, break apart and add the unpeeled garlic bulb, then sit the lamb on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

On the day: Preheat the oven to full whack (240ºC). Get the lamb tray out of the fridge, rub the meat with a little olive oil, place in the oven, and turn the temperature down to 150ºC. Roast for 4 hours, or until tender, basting every hour with the tray juices and adding a splash of water each time. Remove from the oven and transfer the lamb to a serving platter. Cover with tin foil and a clean tea towel, and leave to rest for 1 hour.

Use a spoon to skim the fat off the tray of bones (save it in a jar for tasty cooking another day). Put the tray over a medium heat on the hob and stir in the flour, jam and a swig of red wine vinegar, scraping up all the sticky bits from the base of the tray. Cook for a couple of minutes, then pour in 1.2 litres of water. Let it simmer on a low heat to the consistency of your liking, stirring occasionally. Pass the gravy through a sieve into a pan and season to perfection, tasting and tweaking. Simmer on the lowest heat until needed.

To serve: Uncover the lamb, spooning any resting juices into the gravy. Cut away the string, then spoon over the Green sauce (page 167). Take it to the table, ready to carve in front of your guests.

CALORIES 458kcal FAT 28.5g SAT FAT 12.5g PROTEIN 30g CARBS 17.4g SUGAR 1.3g SALT 0.7g FIBRE 1g

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From the book: Together: Memorable Meals, Made Easy

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