We haven’t published a recipe for a while so are delighted to bring you this melt in the mouth dish from the Head Chef at Boath House in Nairn in Scotland. Featured on the ITV series, ‘Britain’s Best Dish – The Chefs’, it is a challenging recipe for the keener cook but it has been adapted for home cooking.

Boath House Laikenburie Lamb Shoulder
Boath House Laikenburie Lamb Shoulder

For the Lamb:

1 x shoulder Laikenbuie Lamb (1.5 to 2 kilos)
1 litre of water
200ml good lamb stock or cube
100ml olive oil (if slow roasting at home)
1 x large sprig summer savour (you can use thyme, rosemary or any strong flavoured herb if you can’t find summer savour)

For the Tongue:

4 x lamb tongues
1 x clove of ‘Really Garlicky’ garlic
1 litre of light lamb stock (enough to cover the lamb tongues)
2 x tsp arrowroot (mixed with water)
8 x baby onions
150g fresh garden peas
150g fresh broad beans (podded weight)
wild sweet cicely (grows mid spring to mid winter)

For Onion Ring Batter:

100g pasta flour
50g cornflour
25g baking powder
200-300ml sparkling mineral water
table salt to season

For the Pickle:

15ml white wine vinegar
40ml rice wine vinegar
40ml water
30g caster sugar
2g sea salt
300g button chanterelles

Onion Rings:

500ml peanut oil
1 x large onion

Onion Oil:

100ml local Ola extra virgin rape seed oil
1 x onion flower or 2 chive flowers


Chickweed (early spring to mid winter)
Pea flowers


1.   For the shoulder of lamb, bone the shoulder, trim off excess fat and meat.
2.   Dissolve the salt in water to make the brine, place shoulder in vac pac bag, seal and refrigerate for 24 hours.
3.   Remove from the bag, wash away salt, pat dry, place in new vac pac bag with summer savoury and seal.
4.   Cook in the water bath for 48 hours at 65c
5.   Remove, cool and chill in the fridge for 6 hours at least, but ideally overnight.

At home:

You can achieve a similar end result at home if you place the shoulder in a small roasting tray with the herbs, cover with olive oil and then tin foil, cook in the oven at 180c, gas mark 4, for between 4 to 5 hours, until the meat is tender, remember to baste occasionally.  Test by pressing the meat, if it starts to give way then its ready.  Leave to rest.

6.   For the tongue wash and trim away any sinew, pat dry.
7.   Place the tongues in a pressure cooker with the garlic and cover with hot lamb stock.
8.   Bring up to full pressure, then lower the heat and cook for about 25 minutes.
9.   When ready (the skin should peel off easily) remove the tongues and garlic, pass the stock through a piece of muslin into a small pan.
10.  When cool enough, peel the tongue, slice in half length wise and then cut into large dices.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker:

Cook in a pan as above, covered for 2 hours, keep checking your stock is still covering the tongues and add more hot stock if needed.

11.  For the pickle put the white wine, rice wine vinegar, water and sugar into a small pan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved, season and leave to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
12.  Trim and clean chanterelles, keeping these to one side at room temperature.
13.  For the batter place all the dry ingredients into a small bowl, add 200ml of mineral water and mix with a hand blender until smooth, adding more water if needed.  You don’t want the batter too thick.
14.  Season and place in the fridge until needed.
15.  For the onion oil place onion buds in a bowl with the rape seed oil, season.
16.  For the vegetables for the tongue bring a medium sized pan of salted water to the boil.
17.  Drop in the baby onions and cook for about 5 minutes, remove onto kitchen paper and leave to cool until ready to handle.
18.  Cut in half, peel and divide the segments.
19.  Using the same water, cook the peas for no longer than 20 seconds then remove into ice water to stop the cooking.
20.  Using the same water, cook the broad beans, cooking for no more than 1 minute then remove into ice water to stop the cooking.
21.  Peel the beans then put into bowl and roughly blitz with a hand blender.
22.  For the shoulder remove shoulder from the vac pac bag, pour the juoices through muslin into a pan, heat gently.
23.  Trim 4 neat portions of shoulder and place in lamb liquor and cover; these must been heated very, very gently for 5 minutes.
24.  For the onion rings put the peanut oil in a deep fat fryer and bring up to 190c.
25.  Peel onion and then slice very thinly, take 8 nice rings from that, remove any thin membrane and pat dry.
26.  To assemble sprinkle the chanterelles with enough of the pickle to coat and season and place in a warm place (they are served almost raw).
27.  Drop onion rings into batter, do this 2 at a time and then place into hot oil, making sure they don’t touch each other, do this in 2 batches, remove when golden brown.  Put onto kitchen paper and then place in the oven to keep warm.
28.  Heat tongue liquor, add a little arrowroot (mixed with a tablespoon of water) if it needs thickening.  Add slowly till the desired consistency is achieved.
29.  Add tongue pieces, gently heat for a few minutes then add the onion segments, broad beans, peas, heat, season, stir in sweet cicely.

Plate up:

In a warm shallow dish place a pile of the tongue and bean mix, carefully remove lamb and place on top.  Reduce or thicken shoulder liquor, if not enough flavour add lamb stock, heat, check seasoning, glaze lamb.  Dot the pickled chanterelles, top with 2 onion rings each, chickweed, pea flowers and a drizzle of the onion oil.  Serve.

If you’d rather leave the cooking to the Chef, Design Restaurants Members dine complimentary in the luxury Boath House Hotel when dining in parties of four or more for lunch Monday to Friday. Click here for details.

Boath House ariel shot

Not a member? Join now for just £90 for 12 months membership and dine in many of the best restaurants in the country – complimentary! Go to www.designrestaurants.com.

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