Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with white beans

Bill Grangers easy melt-in-the-mouth lamb is an ideal dish for a lazy, informal Sunday lunch
By Bill Granger
Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with white beans
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: plus 15 minutes resting time
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1.2 kg piece boned lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
  • 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • small handful chopped flat-leaf parsley, or other herb of your choice

For the salad garnish

  • handfuls flat-leaf parsley, torn
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • handfuls mint leaves, torn
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • dashes of red wine vinegar


1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the lamb shoulder in a baking dish.

2. In a small bowl, mix all but 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the garlic, rosemary and bay leaves, and rub all over the lamb. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tie the meat with cooking string then place in a deep roasting tray. Pour 250ml water into the dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 3 hours.

3. Remove the foil and increase the oven setting to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. If there is more than 125ml liquid in the dish, drain some off. Return the lamb to the oven, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the surface is brown and crisp. While the lamb is cooking, prepare the beans.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and fry gently until soft.

5. Stir in the tomatoes and cannellini beans, bring to a simmer and add the orange zest, chilli flakes and a little salt and pepper. Cook gently for 30 minutes, adding a little water as necessary, if the mixture looks too dry.

6. When the lamb is cooked, remove it from the oven, cover the dish with foil and leave it to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.

7. For the salad garnish: combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss until well mixed.

8. Add the parsley to the beans, taste and season if necessary.

9. To serve, lay thick slices of the lamb on a bed of the salad garnish and serve with the cannellini beans on the side.

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