Edie's Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder Boulangère

Edie’s Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder Boulangère is one of the best roasts we've ever tasted. The lamb shoulder is slow roasted for hours on a bed of thinly sliced potatoes, onions and chicken stock, until the lamb falls right off the bone. The dish owes its name to a French tradition where villagers without an oven would give their potato and onion dish to the baker (boulanger) for slow cooking in the bread oven overnight. This potato-onion side can be left on low heat in the oven while your lamb rests; then, you can take it all to the table and carve the lamb in front of your guests.


2 kg lamb shoulder (bone-in)
5 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp freshly cracked pepper
3 large onions
6 russet potatoes, peeled
8 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary, stalks removed
750ml chicken stock, ideally homemade
1 bunch mint, finely chopped
3 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp just-boiled water
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste


  1. Use a knife to make small, deep cuts all over the lamb and push a sliver of garlic into each cut. Mix the paprika, olive oil and pepper in a bowl and rub all over the lamb. Cover with foil and set aside to marinate, for 3-6 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 130°C/110°C fan/Gas 5. If you've refrigerated the lamb, take it out of the fridge and bring to room temperature before cooking.
  3. With a mandoline or a sharp knife, cut the onions and potatoes into slices about 5mm (1/2 cm) thick and set aside in separate bowls. Cover the bottom of a medium-to-large roasting pan with a single layer of potatoes. Sprinkle some of the salt, pepper, and herbs. Follow with the onions and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs. Layer the potatoes and onions like this, alternating each time and sprinkling with salt, pepper and herbs, until there are none left. Pour the chicken stock over the dish. 
  4. Place the lamb shoulder in the roasting pan over the potatoes, onions and stock. Cover with foil and pop into the oven for 4 hours. Remove the foil and let it roast for another hour.
  5. Prepare the mint sauce by combining the mint, sugar, vinegar, and boiled water in a bowl and mixing well, adding salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Remove the lamb from the pan and set it on a carving board or large plate. Cover with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes (do not skip this step). 
  7. Set a sieve over a saucepan and carefully pour the juices from the roasting pan into it (the sieve will catch any potato or onion slices that may fall). Put the roasting pan with the potatoes and onions, including any that may have fallen on the sieve, back in the oven to keep warm.
  8. Make a gravy by reducing the juices in the saucepan over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Put the lamb back on the potatoes and take the roasting pan to the table, along with the mint sauce and gravy. 

 BK Tips

  • We like to carve the lamb at the table on a wooden chopping board and serve each guest – but it's up to you. 
  • If you want to thicken the gravy, add a bit of cornflour and mix over heat.
  • This recipe will work with a large pork shoulder as well.