Confit of English lamb shoulder, tomato & black olive sauce, & mash (serves 10) by Denis Watkins

01 January 2000
Confit of English lamb shoulder, tomato & black olive sauce, & mash (serves 10) by Denis Watkins


  • 1 boned lamb shoulder (keep bones for stock)
  • 15-20g sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • 1dsp crushed black peppercorns
  • Melted duck fat to cover (see recipe)

To serve

  • Mashed potato
  • Buttered spinach
  • About 500ml lamb sauce infused with garlic and rosemary
  • Black olives
  • Tomato concassée
  • Pesto


Have the shoulders de-boned by your butcher. Use the bones to make a good lamb stock. Overnight, dry-marinate the lamb with sea salt, rosemary, garlic, thyme and crushed black peppercorns, rubbed well into the cut side of the meat.

Next day, wash off the marinade and pat dry. Roll lengthways, tying with string at one-inch intervals. Cover in melted duck fat and bake very slowly in the oven for three hours. (Note: the fat should be only just moving; if the lamb cooks too fast, it will break up.)

Test that the lamb is cooked and soft to a carving fork. Carefully remove fat and drain on wire rack. Allow to cool overnight in the fridge.

Reserve duck fat for future use. If kept carefully in the fridge,it can be used many more times for this preparation. Occasional removal of lamb juices and the jelly which forms at the bottom of the duck fat container in the fridge will prevent the fat going rancid. Use the juices/jelly to make stock.

The next day, cut the lamb into 4cm rounds. Put them in the oven at 180ºC and reheat for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, drain off excess fat and place on the plate with a large quenelle of mashed potato, some buttered spinach and nap with a good lamb sauce, infused with garlic and rosemary to which have been added chopped quality Provencale black olives and tomato concassée. Top with a quenelle of thick pesto.

by Denis Watkins

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