The Artisan of Flavour

Cooking Italian is a craftsman’s labour, the work of an Artisan of Flavour.

Spalla d’agnello con olive nere e salsa di cipolla e vino rosso (Lamb Shoulder with Black Olives and Onion & Red Wine Sauce)

Lamb Shoulder

Very easy to prepare and perfect for a last minute dinner, this genuine and down-to-Earth dish will certainly delight meat lovers and easily win your guests with its hearty flavours. The oven does most of the job and leaves you more than enough time to prepare the sauce, which is the only bit to be done other than the roasting.

Difficulty: Low

Ready in: 1h30

Cost: Moderate

Ingredients to serve 2:

. Lamb Shoulder Joint (500g)
. New baby potatoes (500g)
. Red wine (1 glass)
. Onion (1)
. Fresh Rosemary
. Bay Leaves
. Salt
. Pepper
. Olives
. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
. Vegetal Stock
. Garlic


Lamb Shoulder
Preheat the oven to 150°. I would not use the fan as it would dry the external part of the joint and prevent the inner meat to cook properly. Place the lamb in a roasting tray with a spoon of extra virgin olive oil, bay leaves and a couple of garlic cloves. Sprinkle with olive oil and season with black pepper and sea salt then roast for around 75 minutes. Remember the cooking time required may change depending on the size of your joint so make sure you check its progress. Lamb has to be well done.

Roasted Baby Potatoes
Remove the skin from the baby potatoes and boil for a few minutes. Let the potatoes cool down and dry up then cut in halves and place them in a different tray with black pepper, salt and olive oil. I like potatoes to be a bit crispy so I usually roast them to a higher temperature (170°-190°). Because they have already being boiled for a few minutes, the higher temperature will not leave the inner part undone. As most of us don’t have two ovens I would recommend to first roast the potatoes at 180°-190°, then lower the temperature of the oven to 150° and start cooking the lamb. While the lamb cooks, leave the potatoes in the oven with the lamb, in a lower compartment, to keep them hot. It is now the time to add fresh rosemary, a couple of bay leaves and the black olives to the potatoes: this makes sure the long time in the heat will let olive and spices release their flavours and at the same time not get burnt by the high temperature the oven is set at during the previous phase.

Onion & Red Wine Sauce
This bit is as straight forward as the previous ones. Boil 100cl of water and add half of a vegetable stock cube. When the stock cube is completely melted pour one small glass or red wine (75cl) and one onion you have already chopped in rather small pieces. Cook/stir for 10-15 minutes (or when you fill the sauce has thicken enough). If you find the sauce too liquid you could add a pinch of sauce flour – make sure you do so when the sauce is at a lower temperature and not boiling anymore.

Move the lamb and potatoes into a smaller clean tray, add a couple of bay leaves to garnish your platter and pour the sauce over the lamb. Job done.


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