Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb with Rocket, Spiced Pickled Cucumber, Quick Pickled Red Onion with Addictive Garlic Aioli | DonalSkehan.com
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Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb with Rocket, Spiced Pickled Cucumber, Quick Pickled Red Onion with Addictive Garlic Aioli

August 21

There’s plenty in this recipe that can be prepared ahead. Both the cucumber and red onion pickles benefit from some time in the fridge and have multiple uses beyond this recipe. While the lamb itself could happily sit marinading in the spice mix if you want to have everything organised before you come to cook. Any leftovers are ideal for lunch with flatbreads or as part of a salad the next day.

  • serves Serves 6
  • time 5 hours


  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4
  2. 2. Bash the spices in a pestle and mortar along with the garlic and salt. Stir the oil into this and then coat the lamb in these spices on a large, deep roasting tray. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 4-5 hours until tender and the meat is falling off the bone. In the last 30 minutes remove the foil to allow the meat to become charred and crisp.
  3. 3. Place the red onion in a bowl, add in the lemon juice and salt, massage gently until slightly tender. Set aside.
  4. 4. To pickle the cucumber, half lengthways and slice thinly on the diagonal and place in a wide dish.. Combine all the other pickling ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the cucumber and allow to sit for at least an hour before serving.
  5. 5. To make the aioli. Whisk together the egg yolk, garlic, dijon and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl. You can use an electric hand mixer for this or manually. Continue to whisk while you slowly pour the oil into the egg mustard mix until fully incorporated. You can whisk in a little water as you go if you see it is not incorporating the oil fully. Season to taste.
  6. 6. Serve the lamb on plates alongside the rocket, cucumber, pickled red onion and aioli.

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For the lamb: 

1 tbsp coriander seeds 

1 tbsp fennel seeds 

6 garlic cloves, peeled 

2 tbsp sea salt flakes 

4 tbsp olive oil

1 x 3kg lamb shoulder

For the red onion

1 red onion, very thinly sliced into rings 

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tbsp sea salt

For the cucumber: 

½ cucumber

150ml white vinegar 

75ml caster sugar 

1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed 

1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed 

For the aioli: 

1 large free range egg yolk 

3 garlic cloves, crushed 

½ tsp dijon mustard 

Squeeze lemon juice 

125ml mild extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

You'll Need

Large roasting tray

Small saucepan