I know you might be wondering how it’s even possible to make a delicious roast lamb in one hour – but trust me, it is! All it requires is one shoulder of lamb (with excess fat removed) some stock and herbs. I used an electric pressure cooker but you can use a slow cooker or dutch oven (just allow for a longer slow cook) and off you go…
The best thing about this is it’s the sort of easy meal you can leave to cook while you catch up with the million and one things that need doing in the house, especially whilst we are all at home. Literally put it on at five in a steam cooker while the kids are doing their homework and you’re dragging the house out of carnage, and it’s done for six. Or pop it in the slow cooker or dutch oven in the morning and you’re laughing by suppertime.
It features not only lamb but also peas and butternut squash (more on the benefits of all the ingredients below) — plus you can substitute any other vegetables you have to hand for versatile cupboard cooking!
Balanced mid-week meals
Before I get on to the big reveal of how you can actually nail a delicious roast lamb simply and easily, I wanted to just talk a bit about the nutritional aspect of meats like beef, lamb and pork. Did you know that they are a source of vitamin B12, which is typically only found naturally in foods from animal products, such as meat and dairy products?
Lamb – which is the star of this recipe – is a source of vitamin B12, B6 and zinc which can help the immune system work normally. Here are some fun facts about vitamin B12:
- Vitamin B12 helps normal energy production in the body
- Vitamin B12 helps the nervous system work normally
- Vitamin B12 helps normal red blood cell formation
- Vitamin B12 helps the immune system work normally
- Vitamin B12 helps reduce tiredness and fatigue
As well as that, lamb is naturally rich in protein, low in salt and provides seven vitamins and minerals that contribute towards good health and wellbeing. These are: niacin (vitamin B3), vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and pantothenic acid.
I’ve chosen lamb shoulder in particular because this cut is tender and full of flavour – making it the perfect star of a simple balanced family meal.
I love to serve it with peas and roasted potato cubes or a mix of potato and butternut squash cubes, depending on what is available. If possible, I buy prepared cubes or slices, which makes the prep so much quicker and easier. No doing battle with peeling and using brute force to cut – just a quick chop chop chop, drizzle with oil and spices and whack them in the oven.
The #SimpleBalancedMeals #CookingatHome campaign is sponsored by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) – the English, Welsh and Scottish levy bodies that between them cover all food groups in a healthy balanced diet
One-hour roast lamb recipe
- One-shoulder of lamb with excess fat removed
- 4 tbsp olive oil (2 for the lamb and 2 for the sweet potatoes)
- Stock made up of 2 cups water boiling and 2 teaspoons bouillon powder – or you can crumble a stock cube inside
- Garlic and herb rub consisting of: 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tbsp chopped rosemary (fresh) or 2 teaspoons dried, salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 large sweet potatoes cut into half-inch cubes – peel only if you have time!
- Frozen green peas
- Preheat the oven to 200c and set the electric pressure cooker to saute and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, brown the lamb quickly on both sides, taking care not to let it stick. If the lamb doesn’t fit quite, you can just skip this step as it’s just a “nice to have”. You can also do this in a pan on top of the hob, with a bit of oil to keep it from sticking.
- Electric pressure cooker instructions: Pour the stock in, spread the rub on top and set the cooker to Pressure Cook (high setting) for 50 minutes. Slow cooker/dutch oven instructions: Put the browned meat in the pot and pour in stock so it’s halfway up the meat, season with the rub, salt and pepper and cover. Cook in the oven according to the package instructions — some recipes call for cooking lamb shoulder for 5 hours at 110C, but use a meat thermometer to ensure it is cooked through.
- Meanwhile spread out the sweet potato cubes in a single layer on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or tin foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with your favourite herbs – we love a combination of onion powder and smoked paprika and a dash of salt – yum! Cook for 30 – 40 minutes depending on the size of your cubes.
- When the lamb is done, remove and let it rest for ten minutes or so before slicing. Serve along with the sweet potatoes/butternut squash and peas, and spoon out the juices for gravy. Happy campers all round!
So now you know the secret of how to make succulent roast lamb any day of the week without the stress, there are no excuses not to!
Have you ever considered making roast lamb in this way? Or perhaps you have a favourite way of cooking lamb you’d like to share? Do leave a comment below and let me know!