Takes 5 hours
A recipe inspired by our recent meeting with Marta and Riccardo, loyal customers of The Ginger Pig for over twenty years. Marta regaled us with fascinating stories of their culinary journey thus far and how The Ginger Pig has never been far from their minds when making big life decisions.
With lamb being one of the meats the couple thoroughly enjoy, they always struggled to find the flavour of British lamb in Italy where the lambs are much smaller and only available in spring. One dish that has remained in their thoughts over the years is a slow cooked lamb pie with a golden potato topping - a take on a Shepherd's Pie if you will. Therefore, as a special thank you for their continued support, we have dedicated this recipe to Marta and Riccardo.
Lamb shoulder is a beautiful cut, perfect for a nice slow cook. We recommend to always opt for bone-in, as the heat is distributed evenly throughout the joint when cooking, it also imparts an abundance of flavour into the meat itself. This recipe has an Italian twist, using tomatoes, good red wine and copious amounts of garlic. Finished with a zingy salsa verde to cut through the rich flavours of the pie. A taste of Italy, in ode to two fabulous friends of The Ginger Pig.
1. Pre heat the oven to 200C fan.
2. Place the sliced onions in a large baking tray to create a bed for the lamb shoulder to lay on. Place in the lamb along with the bay leaves, 3 cloves of garlic, red wine, smoked paprika, stock, tinned tomatoes, sugar, chilli flakes, 2 tsp salt and pepper. Cover with a few layers of foil, ensuring everything is tightly wrapped so no air can escape. Place in the oven for 30 minutes at 200C then turn down the temperature to 160C for a further 3 hours 30 minutes.
3. 1 hour before the lamb has finished slow cooking, place the potato slices into a large pot of salted water. Bring to the boil and par-cook for 8 minutes until just tender but still holding shape, drain and pat to dry completely.
4. Remove the lamb from the oven and peel back the layers of foil, once cooled slightly, shred the meat – it should now be falling off the bone and soft enough to pull apart easily. Turn the temperature of the oven back up to 180C fan.
5. Spoon the shredded lamb into another baking dish, spoon over a little of the cooking liquid and tomato sauce to help keep the meat moist. Begin layering the sliced potatoes over the top, overlapping the edges as you go.
6. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat, adding in the last clove of garlic to infuse. Brush the potatoes all over with the garlicky butter and grate over a generous amount of parmesan.
7. Place in the oven for 45 minutes, until the potatoes are lovely and golden. If they start to catch, place a layer of foil over the top for the remaining cooking time.
8. Whilst the pie is in the oven, you can make the salsa verde. Place the capers, anchovies, along with some of the anchovy oil and garlic cloves into a food processor. Whizz up until a smooth paste then add in the parsley, basil, coriander and blitz again until the sauce becomes a vivid green. Slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil, squeeze in the lemon juice, season with salt and whizz again to loosen. You can adjust the seasoning to your taste at this stage. Spoon into a small bowl and set aside.
9. Remove the pie from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Spoon generous helpings onto plates and finish with a drizzle of the zingy sauce. Enjoy!
For the Lamb:
• 2.5kg lamb shoulder, bone in
• 1 white onion, thinly sliced
• 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
• 3 bay leaves
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
• 175ml red wine
• 1 tsp chilli flakes
• 2 tsp smoked paprika
• 400ml beef stock
• 2 tsp brown sugar
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 kg potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into discs
• 100g butter, melted
• Parmesan, for grating
For the Salsa Verde:
• 2 tbsp capers
• 3 anchovy fillets
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled
• Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
• Handful of basil, roughly chopped
• Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
• 1 tsp salt • Juice of ½ lemon
• 100ml extra virgin olive oil