Lamb might not be an obvious choice for kids but there are lots of great things about it. Kids need iron and red meat is a great source of it. Lamb though is a fairly strong taste in comparison with chicken and pork but that said, if you don't offer stronger tastes with kids, they don't get used to them, and let's face it, I would happily serve a lamb curry to my 2 year old.
Rosemary and garlic are natural partners for lamb but with a leg of lamb, it's often inserted and I find the garlic is still undercooked and indigestible. This way makes sure the garlic and rosemary are fully cooked but still flavours the meat because it's cooked in it's own little steamy oven.
The other great reason to cook this dish is it's incredibly thrifty. When I went to my local supermarket to buy this, a leg of lamb was £11-12 a kilo. Lamb half shoulders were £5 a kilo. Trust me, this is as good or even better than a leg of lamb and brings it into the price range of more households.
Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb - Easily served 2 adults and 1 toddler with a little left over
1kg Half shoulder of lamb
1 tbsp Olive oil
2-3 Sprigs of rosemary (although as I grow my own, I took around 6 of the tips of the sprigs as they are the most tender)
3 Cloves of garlic
Coarsely ground black pepper
For the gravy
Beef or lamb stock (you can use a stock cube and water but fresh stock is better if you have it)
1-2 tbsp Cornflour (cornstarch)
Preheat the oven to 220oC / 450F. Fry the lamb shoulder on all sides until browned. Discard any oil and fat in the pan.
Smash together the garlic, rosemary and pepper in a pestle and mortar until broken up (it doesn't have to form a paste). Rub over the lamb shoulder and put into a baking dish. Pour 100ml (3.5 fl oz, just under half a cup) of cold water around the lamb. Cover with a layer of baking paper and then wrap well with foil and I mean well, you want to seal it as well as possible.
Put in the oven for 30 minutes and then lower the temperature to 170oC, 340F and roast for a further 2 hours or until tender.
Allow to rest for a good 20 minutes and in the meantime drain off the juices into a jug. Scoop off the fat from the juices, there will be quite a bit, shoulder can be a fatty cut. Mix the juices complete with the bits of rosemary and garlic (they're tasty) with the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce until to your liking. With the stock mixture boiling, mix 1-2 tbsp cornflour with cold water and whisk in, bring to the boil until thickened. The amount of cornflour you will need will depend on how much stock you have. Just see how thick it is and add more if you feel it needs it.
Carve the lamb, this won't carve into super neat slices because it is so soft but do watch out as there are a couple of natural fatty layers in a shoulder so you might want to cut them off rather than serve them.
Serve with vegetables and gravy. Feel smug!
My son and husband loved this. We had the warmed leftovers as well with flatbreads, hummus, salad and chilli sauce but a more traditional leftover treatment would be shepherds pie.