Tom Aikens’ Slow Cooked Lamb recipe

Want to cook something magical on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Why not follow the recipe for Tom Aikens’ slow-cooked lamb. With a creamy mashed potato pairing, it makes a wonderful and rustic dinner. Slowly braising the lamb in a rich sauce ensures that the meat's full, immense flavour is drawn out. Slice or shred the meat from the bone to serve…

Tom Aikens’ Braised Shoulder of Lamb recipe


1 shoulder of lamb, rested for an hour at room temperature before cooking

8 sprigs of fresh thyme

8 medium onions, whole and peeled

250ml of balsamic vinegar

olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

2 bulbs of garlic, peeled


For the mashed potato

1kg of large white potatoes, peeled

2l of water

10g of salt

350g of butter

400ml of milk, warmed

black pepper freshly milled



1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4

2. Rub the shoulder of lamb with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place a little more olive oil into the bottom of a large casserole pot with the onions and thyme, sit the lamb on top. Place into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the lamb and onions have coloured.

3. Remove the pot from the oven. Turn the oven down to 110ºC. Add 8 sprigs of thyme and the garlic to the dish, cover and cook for approximately 5 hours

4. After 5 hours, remove the garlic and onions from the pot and reserve. Add the balsamic vinegar, remove the lid and continue to cook for a further 1-1/2 hours, basting (aka covering) the shoulder in its vinegar liquid every 20 minutes.

5. Between bastings, prepare the mashed potato. Cut the potatoes into 2 inch pieces and rinse in cold water. Put the potatoes into a pan with the water and salt. Place over the heat and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer for 25-35 minutes, until they are just tender and drain.

6. Place the potatoes into a mouli with the butter and grind into a bowl (you could also use a potato masher for this process)

7. Place the mixture back into the pan, add salt to taste, pepper and warm milk, stir until smooth. Set aside to keep warm while you finish the lamb

8. Transfer the lamb from the oven to the stove top and place over a low heat to reduce any excess liquid. Baste the lamb in the liquid as you reduce

9. Add the onions and garlic back to the pan for 10 minutes to reheat

10. To serve, cut the braised lamb into 4 portions. Serve with the onions, garlic and mash.

[Photo credit: David Griffen]

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor