Chef's Recipes

Tony Bilson: Confit of lamb shoulder

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for confit of lamb shoulder by Tony Bilson.

By Tony Bilson
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 8 hrs 45 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Tony Bilson: Confit of lamb shoulder
Using a method similar to that employed for confit of duck, this tender lamb dish is a winter winner – try it with a Bordeaux or Penfolds Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006.


  • 1 lamb shoulder (about 1.5kg), trimmed, cut through the bone into 8 pieces (see note)
  • 350 ml veal stock
  • 100 gm canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 thyme sprigs, plus 2 tsp finely chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 30 gm softened butter
  • 30 gm Dijon mustard
  • ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 baby turnips, trimmed, halved, scrubbed
  • 1½ bunches thick asparagus, trimmed
  • 12 sugar snap peas, trimmed
Seasoned salt
  • 2 juniper berries
  • ½ star anise
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 45 gm sea salt
  • 1 tbsp each finely chopped thyme and marjoram
  • ½ fresh bay leaf, crushed


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 90C. For seasoned salt, coarsely grind juniper and star anise in a mortar and pestle (1 minute), then transfer to a bowl. Bruise garlic in a mortar and pestle, add to spices with remaining ingredients, mix well to combine.
  • 2
    Rub seasoned salt all over lamb pieces and place in a large roasting pan. Add veal stock, tomato, thyme sprigs and bay leaf, cover with foil and cook until very tender (6-8 hours, or overnight). Remove lamb from pan and set aside. Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve into a saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced by half (5-6 minutes).
  • 3
    Increase oven to 130C. Combine butter, mustard, garlic and chopped thyme in a bowl and brush thickly over lamb. Place lamb in a single layer in a roasting pan, roast for 30 minutes, increase oven to 200C and roast until crisp (7-8 minutes).
  • 4
    Just before serving, heat olive oil in a small frying pan over high heat, add cherry tomatoes, cut side down, and cook until just caramelised (1-2 minutes), set aside and keep warm. Blanch remaining vegetables until just tender (2-3 minutes for turnips, 1-2 minutes for asparagus, 1 minute for sugar snap peas), drain and keep warm. Serve lamb hot drizzled with sauce, with cherry tomatoes, asparagus, turnips and sugar snap peas.


You’ll need to ask your butcher to cut the lamb shoulder into pieces for you.
This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of
. Drink suggestion by Tony Bilson

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