My butcher sells nice boned and rolled shoulder of lamb joints and this was what I used for dinner last night. I decided to cook the lamb in a closed pot, together with some aromatics (garlic, shallots, fresh rosemary and bay leaves), vegetable stock, red wine, olive oil, salt and pepper. I knew that this would take at least two and a half hours at 170C, with the wine and stock poured off for the last 20 minutes or so, so that it could be reduced to make a gravy. Pretty simple stuff, not much work at all.
To go with the lamb I made a French restaurant classic, haricots panachés, which is a mixture of fresh green beans and flageolet beans (I used tinned), and I also made a potato, swede and celeriac gratin with the thinly-sliced vegetables seasoned and layered and then cooked in vegetable stock in the oven for about an hour covered in foil and then uncovered for the last half hour to crisp up the top.
The wine and stock mixtures was strained into a saucepan and reduced, thickened with a small amount of cornflour paste and adjusted for seasoning to make a nice rich gravy.
The lamb will be lovely and tender when cooked and you won’t be able to slice it too thinly, but because it is rolled and tied you can carve it into nice tidy rounds when you plate up.
You want a nice red wine with this dish. We had a bottle of Bordeaux from the Cave de Landerrouat which is at the eastern end of the Entre Deux Mers region between Castillon-la-Bataille and Duras. The wines they produce are typical of the good value wines that can be found in the region and perfectly matched to hearty dishes like this lamb one. The wine we drank was La Boucaude Rouge 2012 AOC Bordeaux, which we bought while on holiday in the summer.