Poached shoulder of lamb with caper sauce

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Poached shoulder of lamb with caper sauce

Main Serves 6 2h 20 min
The beauty of lamb shoulder is that you can cook it however you like. Slice, dice, mince, roast quickly or slowly, or poach as in the recipe below. Poaching will always give a slightly gelatinous texture, that others find reminiscent of poached ox tongue. Either way it needs something sharp to partner it, like caper sauce or salsa verde.



  • good-sized sprig thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 stems parsley
  • 1 onion, washed
  • 800g boneless lamb shoulder
  • 1 celery stick, trimmed
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • selection summer veg, chopped (peas, carrots, courgettes etc.)

for the caper sauce

  • 40g butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 40g plain flour
  • 350ml broth from the poached lamb
  • 1-2 tbsp vinegar from the caper jar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp redcurrant jelly
  • 75ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 2h 10 min


  • Step 1

    Tie the herbs together in a bundle. Wash the onion and (unless very grubby) leave the skin on, as it lends colour to the stock. Place the lamb in a large pan together with the onion, celery, carrot, peppercorns and herb bundle. Cover with water and bring to the boil slowly.
  • Step 2

    After a few minutes at a simmer, some scum and fat will result on the surface; spoon this off and add more water to cover if necessary. Simmer for 2 hours, turning the lamb occasionally and replacing any evaporated liquid.
  • Step 3

    For the final 30 minutes, remove the stock vegetables and poach some more summery vegetables (like carrots, peas, beans, courgettes, whole shallots) to accompany the lamb.
  • Step 4

    Lift the lamb to a warm plate to carve. Strain the stock, putting aside 350ml for the caper sauce. Freeze the remainder for soup or casserole making.
  • Step 5


make the caper sauce

  • Step 1

    fry the butter and onion gently until translucent, add the flour and cook until foaming, then whisk in the stock until smooth. Add the vinegar, seasoning, mustard, redcurrant jelly and simmer for 10 minutes, then sieve. Whisk in the cream and add capers and parsley.
  • Step 2

    Serve slices of poached lamb and vegetables with crushed boiled new potatoes and caper sauce. If poached lamb seems a bit wintery, dice the lamb and make this tasty curry.

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