Braised lamb with peas, crème fraiche and mint

4 hours


  • 1 lamb shoulder, on the bone
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil, a few glugs
  • 20 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 375ml of white wine
  • chicken stock, a ready supply
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard, heaped
  • 4 tbsp of créme fraiche, heaped
  • 2 handfuls of peas, fresh or frozen
  • 2 bunches of mint, leaves picked
  • parsley stalks, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves (or whatever you have to hand), tied together with the mint stalks from above to create a 'bundle of joy'


Season the shoulder well, then heat a large frying pan over a medium heat with a splash of olive oil and brown the lamb all over. Place it in an ovenproof dish or roasting tray large and deep enough to accommodate the joint with a little space
Gently sweat the shallots and garlic in the lamby frying pan for 3–4 minutes, without colouring them, and nestle these around the shoulder with the bundle of joy
Place the roasting tray over a medium heat and pour in the white wine. Reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and an extra glug of olive oil administered like squirts of factor 50 at the beach: a generous coating
While the liquid returns to a simmer, take a small bowl and whisk together the mustard and crème fraiche, loosening the mixture with a couple of spoonsful of the simmering stock. Pour the resulting sauce into the tray. The liquid does not have to cover everything – remember that you are looking for the alligators-in-the-swamp effect
Place in a barely medium oven for at least 3 hours; the crème fraiche and meat juices unify while it blips away. Check the shoulder with a skewer and, when the meat is tender and yielding, add the peas and return to simmer in the oven for a few minutes longer. Reinforce the seasoning if needed, discipline your mint leaves and fold through to finish
The leftover braising juices and slippery peas make an excellent sauce for farfalle – a favourite for staff dinners