Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Slow cooker lamb boulanger recipe

Lamb boulanger is a classic French recipe which would have been taken down to the village baker's place to be cooked long and slow in his oven. It seemed like a perfect pick for the slow cooker.

I used a bone-in shoulder but, after I'd defrosted it, noted that the glamorous Nigella Lawson (in How to Eat) suggests a boned shoulder. I may not possess her superstar looks or her book deals (sigh!) but mine tasted great! What does she know?

Ingredients for 4:

My camera has gone AWOL!
My hubby had to take this with his Blackberry!
Shoulder of lamb (mine was 1lb/500g)*
1KG/ 2lbs potatoes, ideally waxy, sliced to about 1/2 cm or 1/4"
1 onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped into long slivers
1 large bunch thyme
3 bay leaves
100 ml water or lamb or veg stock or water
salt and pepper to taste

* You might want a little more meat than this if cooking for company -  a boneless shoulder would have done it but 500g with bone meant they were fairly dainty portions - fine during the week for our family though..


Place the potatoes into the pot in several layers. They don't need to be too neat. Then pile on the onion, the bay leaves and half the thyme, finely chopped. I just used scissors to chop as I went. Pour over the water or stock and season generously with salt and pepper. Spike the lamb with a sharp knife and insert the garlic slivers into the holes. Place the joint on top of the potatoes and, again, season generously. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or High for 4-5.


We really enjoyed this a lot. The meat had a lovely texture and fell off the bone. The potatoes were very tender but hadn't lost all of their shape. They had taken on great flavour from the meat and there were lovely crunchy bits around the edge. We had them as breakfast potatoes the next day with fried eggs and they were awesome reheated! I under-seasoned this which was a shame so don't hold back on the garlic and herbs or the salt and pepper. This was very easy and took less than 15 minutes to prepare but I would have been happy to serve it to guests with a good wine and maybe a green salad or some glazed carrots. You could veer away from the classic boulanger flavours and use the method with other herbs, lots more garlic and maybe some citrus flavours and I think it would work well.

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