Jamie Oliver's 4 hour slow roast lamb

From Cookipedia

I saw this recipe on Jamie Oliver's At Home series and thought to myself: we'll have this on Saturday night!! So here is what I remember of the program.

It uses shoulder of lamb, which, because of the time spent cooking at a very low heat, will be tender and just fall off the bone when the dish is done.

Cooking does not get much simpler (and tastier) than this!

We have a large selection of slow roast recipes that are similar to this one.

Jamie Oliver's 4 hour slow roast lamb
Slow cooked lamb with hot mint and caper sauce, squash mash and Parmesan turnip tops
Servings:Serves 4 to 6 people
Calories per serving:1225
Ready in:4 hours 30 minutes
Prep. time:20 minutes
Cook time:4 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:10th March 2013

Best recipe review

Although I've gone off Jamie over the years 😟


I think this is still one of his best recipes.



Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe

For the hot caper and mint sauce

Mise en place

  • Preheat the oven to its hottest setting.


  1. With a sharp knife, score the skin of the joint every 2.5 cm (1"). Cut about halfway through the fat.
  2. Using plenty of salt and pepper, season the lamb on both sides, ensuring you get plenty into the slashes you have made.
  3. Smash the garlic bulb to separate all of the cloves and place half of them, unpeeled, in the base of a suitable sized roasting tray.
  4. Distribute most of the rosemary stems evenly into the base of the tray.
  5. Sit the meat, skin-side upwards, into the roasting tray and place the remaining garlic cloves on the top of the skin, together with the remaining rosemary stems.
  6. Drizzle 3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil over the skin of the lamb.
  7. Cover with 2 layers of tin-foil and fold the edges over the edge of the roasting tin to ensure a good seal.
  8. Check that the oven has reached its highest temperature and place the joint in the oven on the top shelf and immediately turn the oven down to 160° C (325° F - gas 3)
  9. Leave to roast slowly for 4 hours.
  10. After 4 hours, remove the lamb, together with the garlic, and put the meat on a preheated plate. Cover loosely with a piece of foil and leave to rest for a while before carving and serving with the sauce.

To make the hot mint and caper sauce

  1. Discard most of the rosemary and any excess oil, leaving just the lovely caramelised juices from the roasting.
  2. Heat the roasting tray on the hob and add a tablespoon of plain flour and stir well to soak up all of the lovely juices.
  3. Roughly chop the mint leaves and the capers and add to the roasting tray.
  4. Squeeze a few of the roasted garlic cloves into the gravy.
  5. Add the chicken stock to the tray, stirring well to thicken, but don't cook it for ages.
  6. Add a final splash of sherry vinegar to the gravy, stir and serve.

Serving suggestions

Serve hot with squash mash and Parmesan turnip tops.

Chef's note

If you are using a smaller joint then you can reduce the cooking time; a small (800g) joint would only need half the cooking time. However, it wont hurt to cook it longer as it will just do a better job of breaking down the collagen and sinews. It's also worth noting that Lamb is safe to eat rare.

Don't be put off a recipe that calls for a leg of lamb because of the high cost. This recipe can be adjusted for half a leg of lamb and you buy that (frozen) for just £6.00! (March 2013).

See also

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