I realise that not everyone can go and pick wild garlic from the fields and riversides but if you have a supply nearby I suggest picking, washing and blending a generous handful of leaves now to freeze for later in the year. If you can never get hold of the stuff you can make a marinade by swapping the wild garlic for another small bunch of coriander and about 50g flat-leaf parsley. Add a couple of peeled garlic cloves to the blender and you will have a pretty nice marinade for the lamb. For a punchier marinade I would add a whole green chilli ( a bit like zhoug then) but I have kept it quite family friendly here.
- 1.8 kg boned shoulder of lamb
- 75g wild garlic, washed and patted dry
- 25g bunch coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, roughly crushed
- 125ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 500ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 2 heads fennel
- 750g new potatoes
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Lay the lamb out in a non-reactive dish. Put the wild garlic into a blender with the coriander, cumin seeds and olive oil. Add a good pinch of salt and ground black pepper and blend to a paste. Spread over the lamb covering the meat on all sides. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day bring the lamb out to rest at room temperature for one hour. Heat the oven to fan 140°c, mark 2. Place the lamb in a large roasting tin-big enough so there is plenty of room around the meat. Pour the stock around the meat. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cover tightly with foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 3 hours.
- Trim the fennel and cut into four wedges lengthways. After the lamb has had 2 ½ hours in the oven put the fennel and potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring the water to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes until just tender. Drain the vegetables and arrange them around the lamb, basting them in the cooking juices. Cook, uncovered for a further 30-40 minutes in the oven until the vegetables are golden and soft.
- To serve, spoon the vegetables into a serving dish. Roughly cut the lamb into large chunks and place on top of the vegetables. Squeeze over the lemon juice and scatter over the chopped parsley.