This recipe is great to stick in the oven on a Sunday morning, then go and walk the dogs and call in at the pub for a couple and when you get home the house smells amazing – and lunch is ready. I think I can safely call it the ultimate family lunch!

Pommes boulangère are named after the French term for a bakery. Once every village or town had a baker with big clay ovens. When the baker had finished baking his bread, he would turn the oven off and the residual heat in the oven would slowly cook this fantastic potato dish.

Serves 4–6, plus some for the dogs

 

Ingredients

 

6 large waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

3 onions, thinly sliced

leaves from 1 bunch of thyme

1 shoulder of lamb, about 2kg

1 head of garlic, separated into cloves and peeled

600ml chicken stock

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Method

 

Preheat the oven to 130°C/Gas Mark ½.

Mix the potatoes, onions and thyme leaves together in a bowl and season. Roughly layer the potatoes and onions in a roasting tray and put the lamb on top, skin side up. Use a knife to pierce the lamb all over, then put a clove of garlic into each hole. Pour over the chicken stock.

Put the baking tray in the oven and roast the lamb for 4–5 hours, until the lamb is tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Remove the tray, cover it with foil and leave the lamb to rest for 20 minutes before carving.

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