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7 Hour Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb.

Marmite on Toast pictures to download 040

(What on earth would you cook for Nigella?)

Origin:In a panic one wintry Monday morning a few weeks ago, a friend called to say that there was a possibility that this very evening she was hosting a dinner party for Nigella Lawson, and that she and two other ‘foodies’ were invited to prepare a feast for a dinner party of 12. I was one of them and the main course was our responsibility! (Panic)We had it on good authority that Nigella was briefly in town and, respecting her privacy as many people don’t, arrangements were being made to entertain her at a ‘real/local/South African foodies’ home.

Call us gullible or hopeful, (we chose the latter,) as sms’s flew back and forth all morning, we continued with the 7pm dinner plans, only to find out later in the day that dates had been muddled and arrangements had in fact been double booked so sadly it was not going to happen.

Oh my word…did I really come that close to entertaining one of my mentors? The goddess who made comfort food and Brora cardi’s famous? Food is in my blood and for years she and Jamie Oliver have been an absolute inspiration to me. I know….all those other famous, unpronounceable names that the vanguard movement has labeled as the trendy ones to name drop – but while I gasp in awe at their skill and passion in deconstructing everything, I am never going to cook with a lab coat and lethacin test tube in hand.

Dine at their restaurants – oh yes – cook that food – no freaking way. (We are blessed to have reservations  during our end June trip to NYC at Eleven Madison Park , Baltzar , BuddakanLa Lanterna and  Brooklyn Fare’s Chef’s Table  so watch this space for those reviews as these  chefs make up some of those very famous vanguard movement and are to be highly admired.)

Anyway back to the dinner party – what to do as the crayfish were caught and being murdered as we spoke, the 7 hour lamb was stuffed and roasting, and the dessert was chilling together with a few choice bottles of Pierre Jourdan champers.

Monday nights are normally Granny Morty’s spag-aroni in front of the TV watching Grays Anatomy, then Good Wife and finally Brothers and Sisters before we all sleepstagger upstairs to our beds.

No TV this Monday night! Nigella or not we all decided to make it an occassion anyway, and enjoy the meal on the pot. So at about 7ish, nicely scrubbed up - we all headed toward the smell of roasting lamb and sizzling peppers.

Although we were all a bit mizz- and sad that plans did not work out, the evening turned into one of laughter and much merriment. We now had so much food, that at the last minute friends who would not be offended at the late invite were called to join us.

Of course they thought we had lost our marbles when we explained how we had got to this point and shrieked with laughter when told that they were actually on the B –list. However they  quickly accepted the invite when they heard what was being served for Monday night dinner.

 After hearing the long sad tale of how they got to be invited, ‘Daz’ (the B list guest) made a concerted effort to cheer up the dissappointed crowd and stopped at the Party shop on the way home.  She arrived dressed the part to roars of laughter as  - you guessed it …looking gorgeous and laden with a tray of freshly baked ‘Nigella star mince pies’ (In May? Ha Ha – here is my friend Ally with our guest.)

So here for everyone to enjoy is our wonderful menu. I am sure Nigella would have a quiet chuckle if she knew the goings on in our own Wisteria lane that night! For all we know she had no clue at the chaos and was probably sipping on a glass of chilled wine while preparing one of her incredible family meals at  home in London, anticipating the next volcanic  blowout that the world was panicking about! We are still forever hopeful, and you never know – perhaps we just needed to perfect our recipes for the next time!

(Monday morning was as if we were in the Master chef final elimination challenge….We had half an hour to decide on what to cook, to meet and rush off to buy ingredients….but what to cook????? Then I remembered seeing a wonderful recipe on Kate’s blog (she has an awesome blog do follow it..) that was similar to one I did for Easter.  Kate’s had a Moroccan take and mine was with a breadcrumb and apricot stuffing. I decided to combine the two and it was unbelievable. Here is the link to Undomestikated where you will find her version of the lamb.)

On arrival

Pierre Jourdon Sparkling wine served with Hot Caprese on Puff (click here for recipe)


Crayfish salad with Avo, ginger, and pesto aioli (recipe will be up shortly)

White Wine: Springfield Life from Stone


7 Hour Slow Roasted Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb (Scroll down.)

Served with Cous cous stuffing and Roasted Mediteranean Vegetables  (click here for recipe)

Red Wine: Springfield Whole berry (we put that away and polished a few Railroad Reds instead!)


(Nigella’s mince pies were the default dessert  as we ran out of energy but this one would have been a goodie.)

Australian Masterchefs Frangipane Tart (click here for recipe)

Dessert wine:Haute Cabriere Ratafia 

The dessert was directly from the Matt Moran masterclass and I have made it often exactly as per the recipe, except due to the fact that the fruits are out of season, I used 500g of frozen fruit which I defrosted before adding to the frangipane mixture. Here is a  pic of mine just before it went in the oven.

The pastry was superb!





 7 Hour Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb.

1 large shoulder of Lamb – deboned and netted (Karoo Kitchen –Rodney does it perfectly each time and will leave the one end ‘untied’ so that you can reuse the net after stuffing.

1 cup of cooked cous cous (soak in boiling water for 10 minutes)

½ cup of finely chopped mint

2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary

½ cup roasted pine nuts

5 finely chopped pepper dews

5 finely chopped sundried tomatoesz

zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper to season

2 red onions

1 carrot

1 cup of water

olive oil for brushing


  1. Preheat the oven to 100 oC.
  2. Un-roll the lamb shoulder.
  3. Mix all the above ingredients together and spoon evenly over the inside of the shoulder. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Carefully roll up the shoulder and re-fit the net. It is easier if there are two of you doing this part!
  5. Brush with olive oil and season again with salt and pepper.
  6. Place in a small roasting tray – one that just fits the meat so that the juices can collect.
  7. Add two quartered red onions, and a carrot.
  8. Pour ½ cup of water into the roasting dish.
  9. Cover tightly with tin foil and place in oven for 6 hours. Check and turn every hour.
  10. Turn the oven up to 180 oC for the last hour, and remove the tin foil for the last 30 minutes. Baste the meat with the juices every 15 minutes.
  11. Remove, wrap in tin foil, and rest for 30 minutes.
  12. Remove some of the fat and reduce the remaining liquid together with a cup of port or red wine. Allow to thicken to a tasty jus and serve with the carved lamb.


7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi Lisa, how the heck did I miss this most awesome blog. Love what you do and let me tell you if you have a picture in your mind about me, my home and my car, you are probably wrong on all accounts. regular Jane, that’s me.

    Love your blog and would love to feature it on my Weekly RSG radio slot soon!!

    June 15, 2011
    • Oh my word Nina! Suddenly I have all ‘my famous’ bloggers commenting on my blog and maybe all this hard work is not invain? Often I feel like I am talking to myself but I suppose it takes time and experience to get noticed! Am so exicited you noticed me! Ha Ha love your comment about my cyber friend profile of you….one day we will all have to meet and I shall reveal the images I have conjured up of my mentor bloggers…he he! Of to Boston to a food styling and photography conference and blogging workshop so if I go quiet for a while don’t worry – ‘I’ll be back’ and would love to feature on your RSG radio Slot!! Thx once again xx

      June 15, 2011
  2. Ally Johnson #

    Oh my Lis … that Nigella evening was amazing. I have never laughed and cried as much. From being absulutely distraught knowing that we were not actually going to meet Nigella and cooking delicious food for her to having one of the most enjoyable evenings ever.
    The company was awesome and our “B” list friends really made the whole evenig. Well done Daz and Rich. You saved the evening.
    The food was out of this world. Tooky that crayfish starter was the best crayfish I have ever eaten.
    Lis your blog is awesome, keep going girl.


    June 16, 2011
    • Absolutely. We are going to have to upgrade them to the A-list if by any chance we ever do get to do the real dinner-party. xx Tell your husband to get his act together and get me that crayfish recipe to add! It was awesome. x

      June 17, 2011
  3. Daz #

    Well, we’ll be B-list anytime!! That food was out of this world, you have become MY mentor!! Your style is outstanding- you can make boiled-eggs stand on ceremony!! How did your daughter cope with her boyfriends family thinking you actually did cook for NIGELLA as per the photo?LoL

    June 16, 2011
    • You are so sweet xx She hasn’t seen the ‘in-laws’ yet to redeem herself. Shame it was aweful of us to tease her as she really thought the mms was Nigella. Anyway…lots of fun was had by all.. xx so glad you are visiting my blog. Lots of Love.

      June 17, 2011
  4. Polly #

    Thank you for this wonderful evening Lisa, so many happy memories. Laughed till I cried! What fun to cook together, learnt so much from you

    November 26, 2011

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