- 2.5kg (5lb) shoulder of lamb
- Olive oil
- 8 shallots, peeled
- 2 x 400g (13oz) tined chopped tomatoes
- 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- Heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Rub the lamb with a little olive oil and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Drizzle a little olive oil into the bottom of a large roasting tin. Add the shallots, then sit the lamb on top. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the lamb and onions have coloured.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 140°C (gas mark 1). Add enough water to come 1cm (½in) up the side of the tray, then cover and return to the oven for 4 hours. Check occasionally to make sure the water hasn't evaporated.
- Remove form the oven and pour the tomatoes around the lamb. Add the vinegar, garlic and thyme, cover and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until the lamb is very tender.
- Place the lamb on a large platter. Skim any fat off the top of the liquid, season to taste and serve with the lamb.
To remove the excess fat, add ice cubes to the tray once the lamb has been removed. The fat will solidify so you can spoon it off.
The lamb is ready when the meat is falling off the bone. Rather than carving it, use two forks to separate the meat from the bone. This is delicious served with lightly dressed watercress or rocket.