Slow-roasted lamb shoulder

Ingredients to serve 4

7 sprigs or rosemary
125ml extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
500g small round golden shallots
50g sugar
100ml sherry vinegar
500ml chicken stock
1.2kg boneless shoulder of lamb
Coarse sea salt
6 salted anchovy fillets in oil, chopped
30g salted butter
2 x 400g cans of cooked butter beans, drained and rinsed

To make the rosemary oil, strip the leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary and put in a blender with the olive oil and a clove of garlic. Pulse a few times to roughly chop, pour into a bowl and set aside at room temperature to steep.

Preheat the oven to 120C/gas mark 1/2. Peel the shallots leaving the root end attached. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over high heat, add the shallots and sauté until golden all over. Add the sugar and sherry vinegar and cook until the vinegar has reduced and the shallots are covered with a shiny glaze. Pour into a deep baking dish, add the remaining garlic cloves and rosemary and pour over the stock.

In a clean frying pan heat a glug of olive oil. Season the lamb all over with salt and sear on all sides until well coloured. Place the lamb on top of the shallots skin side up and spread the chopped anchovy over the skin.

Use a large piece of aluminium foil to wrap the tray, making sure the foil doesn't touch the lamb. Scrunch the foil around the edges of the tray tightly so none of the liquid evaporates during cooking.

Bake for 4 hours 30 minutes. Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking, remove the foil and cook the lamb, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a pan, melt the butter. Add the beans, 200ml of water and a good sprinkling of salt and, using a potato masher, smash up the beans and place in a serving dish.

Pass the rosemary oil through a fine sieve, discarding the solids, and pour over the butter beans.

Remove the lamb from the oven and using a plate as a scoop, transfer to a serving dish.

Remove the shallots and place around the lamb, skimming any fat off the liquid remaining in the baking tray. Place the tray over a high heat and bring to the boil and reduce till thickened slightly before pouring over the lamb.

Taken from 'My Basque Cuisine' by Ash Mair (New Holland, £19.99)

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