This hearty lamb shoulder recipe from Tom Aikens, with its creamy mashed potato pairing, makes a wonderful rustic lamb dinner. Slowly braising the lamb in a rich sauce ensures that the meat’s full, immense flavour is drawn out. You can slice the meat to serve if you like but we recommend shredding!

Tom Aikens
Tom Aikens

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Recipe: Seven Hour Braised Shoulder of Lamb with Onions, Thyme & Balsamic


Braised Shoulder of Lamb

  • 1 shoulder of lamb, around 2.5kg in weight
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 20g fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic bulbs, peeled cloves
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 8 medium onions, peeled
  • 350ml balsamic vinegar

Mashed Potato

  • 2l water
  • 12g salt
  • 200g butter
  • 150ml milk
  • 600g peeled potato, cut in 1/4’s
  • 12 turns of milled black pepper


  1. Place a large casserole pot onto a medium gas, adding the oil
  2. Season the lamb and place the shoulder into the pot once the oil is hot (be careful adding the lamb as it could spit). Colour for 3-4 minutes each side until nicely caramelised and then remove the lamb and put to one side.
  3. Add the onions and colour for 4-5 minutes still on a medium heat, stirring now and again. Add the garlic and thyme then place the lamb back on top.
  4. Place into the oven at 110° and cover with a lid cooking for 2-2.5 hours, then take out the onions once they are soft. Carry on cooking the lamb for another 2.5-3 hours.
  5. Add the vinegar and carry on cooking without the lid so the vinegar reduces as the lamb cooks, basting the lamb every 30 minutes, being careful not to reduce it too much.
  6. Cook for a total of 6-7 hours until the lamb is nice and tender then add the onions and garlic back at the end and reduce the vinegar to a nice thick consistency.
  7. Place the cut potato into the cold water with 10g salt in a pan, place on to the heat and bring to a simmer.
  8. Place the potato back in the pan and dry out on a low heat for 1 minute then add the butter, salt, pepper and the warm milk while you mash the potato.


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Tom’s Kitchen, 27 Cale Street, Chelsea, London SW3 3QP Telephone: 0207 349 0202







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One thought on “Chef’s Recipe: Seven Hour Braised Shoulder of Lamb with Onions, Thyme & Balsamic – from Tom Aikens

  1. Is this some of the legendary Ewly Valley Welsh Lamb that he never paid Daphne Tilley for ? Very disappointing behaviour – possibly unforgiveable

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