Takes 10 minutes to make, 4 hours to cook
The fennel and marsala in this slow-cooked lamb recipe add wonderful sweet and aniseed notes – perfect for a special feast.
2.5kg shoulder of British spring lamb
400ml fresh chicken stock
100ml dry white wine
3 fennel bulbs, thickly sliced
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 tsp fennel seeds
200ml marsala (or madeira)
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan 140°C/gas 3. Season the lamb well and put in a large roasting tin with 150ml of the stock and the white wine.
2. Roast for 2 hours, then add the fennel and onions to the roasting tin and sprinkle over the fennel seeds, adding another splash of stock if it looks dry. Cook for a further 1.5 hours until tender. Remove the lamb to a warmed platter, remove the vegetables from the tin with a slotted spoon and arrange around the joint.
3. Strain the meat juices from the tin (discard the fat) into a small pan. Add the remaining stock and the marsala, and season. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to a flavoursome gravy. Once the lamb has rested, serve it along with the vegetables and gravy.