Stuffed cushion of lamb with red wine gravy

Serves 8

1.8kg boned lamb shoulder
300g granary bread
200g peas
1 bunch of fresh mint,
plus extra for garnish
1 egg
1 tbsp flour
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cumin
200g baby shallots
1 lemon
vegetable oil, to grease and rub
sea salt and black pepper

For the gravy
150ml red wine
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp honey
250ml vegetable stock

Remove the lamb shoulder from the fridge and bring up to room temperature. Rip
up the bread and place in a food processor, along with the peas, mint, egg, flour, garlic and cumin. Pulse until combined. Peel and trim the shallots and place in a large mixing bowl. Zest and juice the lemon into it. Transfer the pea mixture to the bowl and season.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Lay out the lamb shoulder, skin-side down, on a large sheet of tin foil double the size of the lamb. This helps manoeuvre the meat once it is stuffed. Pack the stuffing on top of it and fold the edges of the fat over it to enclose the stuffing. Take a piece of string, approximately 3 metres long, and slide it under the meat. Pull the ends of the string up and over the lamb, crossing them at the top. Hold the string in place while folding the foil over the meat, leaving the ends of the string unwrapped. This keeps the meat and stuffing together as it is turned over. Turn the meat over, unwrap the tin foil from underneath it. Repeat, tying the string at opposite angles, then folding the foil over the meat again. Repeat until the meat has been turned and the string crossed seven times in total. Knot the string and snip away the ends. Transfer to a greased tray, skin-side up, being careful to hold all the stuffing in. Rub with oil and season. Roast for 3 hrs until the skin is crispy and golden. Allow to rest for 20 mins.  

To make the gravy, collect the juices in a saucepan. Heat for 1 min and add the cornflour. Cook, stirring, for a further minute, then stir in the red wine and honey. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 min, before mixing in the vegetable stock. Season and bring to the boil again, then simmer for 2 mins until thickened.

Cut away the string and discard, then slice the lamb. Serve with the gravy, garnishing the meat with the extra mint.

Other lamb feast recipes in our Spring 2016 issue:

Rack of lamb with basil gravy
Breast of lamb
Mixed steamed cabbage
Zesty layered potatoes
Roast asparagus and garlic
Lemon and raspberry meringue tart

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