Fennel sausage-stuffed shoulder of lamb

Maria Elia's stunning main course is served with garlicky spinach tossed with pine nuts and raisins
By Maria Elia
Fennel sausage-stuffed shoulder of lamb
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the lamb

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • pinch chillies, flakes
  • 180 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 500 g fennel sausages, casing removed
  • 1 boneless lamb shoulder

For the spinach

  • 2 tbsp raisins, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g spinach, stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine kernels, lightly roasted


1. For the lamb: heat half the oil in a frying pan over a low heat and fry the onion and garlic for 10-15 minutes, or until the onions start to caramelise. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and add the fennel seeds, chilli flakes and breadcrumbs. Mix well, then set aside to cool. Once cooled, mix in the sausage meat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

3. Place lamb shoulder skin-side down into a roasting tin, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and spread over the sausage stuffing. Roll up tightly and secure with kitchen string. Rub with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Roast the lamb shoulder for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and toast for a further 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the lamb is tender. Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

5. For the spinach: soak the raisins in a bowl of water for 15 minutes, then drain.

6. Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the spinach and cook until the spinach starts to wilt. Remove from the heat and drain the spinach in a colander to get rid of any excess liquid.

7. Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining olive oil and fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the spinach back to the pan, along with the pine nuts and soaked raisins. Season to taste with sea salt and cook for a further minute to warm through.

8. To serve, remove the string from the lamb and carve into thick slices. Serve on a bed of the spinach.

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