With most meats I enjoy the cheaper cuts which can be cooked slowly with bags of flavour. We get our lamb from a wonderful collective of farmers based in the Lakedistrict who truly care for their animals. The Herdwick lamb is a breed native to the Lakes and can be replaced with any of your choosing. Generally speaking, the longer you allow the meat to cook, the better the end result will be, It should be tender enough to eat with a spoon once you're done.
For the lamb shoulder
1 lamb shoulder (roughly 2kg - bone removed)
3 garlic cloves
5 sprigs rosemary
Maldon sea salt
1/2 bottle white wine
For the Anchovy puree
500ml whole milk
100g Panko bread crumbs
1 sprig rosemary
2 garlic cloves (peeled)
For the pickled shallots
200g round baby shallots
200ml white wine vinegar
For the mint oil
1 bunch mint
250ml olive oil
For the anchovy crumb
100g panko bread crumbs
6 anchovies (roughly cut)
Pickled shallots (to be prepared 24 hours in advance)
Peel the shallots removing the root and cut in half length ways. In a small sauce pan add the wine, sugar and water and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the shallots and return the pan to a simmer, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. After 1 hour place the shallots and pickling liquid in an air tight container and transfer to the fridge.
Lamb shoulder and jus
Begin by trimming the lamb of any large pieces of excess fat. The fat is an essential part of the dish and provides so much flavour but too much can be unpleasant.
In a large caserole dish sear the shoulder with a small glug of olive oil over a medium to high heat until golden brown all over. Sear each side for around 3 minutes and season the flesh as you go. When the lamb is coloured all over add the garlic cloves, anchovies and rosemary and finally the white wine. Bring to a simmer and place a lid on top. Transfer to the oven and cook for between 3 and 4 hours at 160 °C.
Once cooked gently remove from the oven and take the meat out with tongs. Place onto an oven tray and put another tray on top. Transfer to the fridge and use a few weights to press the tray on top. As the meat cools it will flatten the shoulder into shape.
Meanwhile pass the liquid that remains in the pan through a fine sieve and reduce to a sauce consistency, use a ladle to skim as much fat as possible that comes to the surface. Once reduced transfer to the fridge to cool and when cold scrape the fat from the top layer revealing the jus below, reserve this for later. After several hours of the meat cooling remove and cut into rectangles. These can then be stored on a baking tray in the fridge until needed.
In a sauce pan bring the milk with the rosemary, garlic, a pinch of salt and cheese to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the bread crumbs. Once incorporates transfer to a blender, add the anchovies and blend the mixture until smooth. Store in a sealed piping bag and leave to cool in a sink of cold water before putting in the fridge.
Bring a pan of heavily salted water to the boil. Remove the stalks from the mint and blanch the leaves in the water for 15 seconds. Using a sieve remove the mint and cool immediately under a cold tap. Transfer to a blender and add the olive oil. Blend for 5 minutes, the oil will turn from a luminous green to a brownish colour. Once blended place a piece of cheese cloth over a sieve set over a bowl and pour the mint oil into it. This will separate the bright green oil from the mint pulp. Discard the pulp and store in the fridge.
Cut the anchovies and over a medium heat in a frying pan sauté for 30 seconds with a little of the anchovy oil. Add the butter and bring to a foam, then add the bread crumbs. Cook to a golden brown stirring regularly. Once coloured place the crumb into a sieve over a bowl to drain away the excess butter. Season with salt and store at room temperature.
Place the Lamb in the oven and reheat at 160°C for 20 minutes. This will allow the fat to crisp up but also help to retain the juicy moistness of the meat. Arrange your shallots on the plate and pour a little of the mint oil into each. Pipe a dollop of the anchovy puree onto the side of the plate. Reheat the jus is a small sauce plan and remove the lamb from the oven. Cover the surface of the lamb with the bread crumbs and serve.