Perennial marjoram is an incredibly popular herb in middle eastern cooking. With its sweet pine and citrus flavours it makes a perfect bedfellow to our slowly reared grass fed lamb - another middle eastern favourite.
Marjoram was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol for happiness, so when skies are a little grey and the weather is playing havoc, this small joy can be brought from the garden into your kitchen.
If you cannot find marjoram other herbs can be used in its place, oregano is the nearest alternative, but really any woody or aromatic herb can be used.
This simple recipe makes use of our grass fed lamb, when arguably it's at its best in the year, after months of summer pasture grazing and having hung for at least three weeks. All that's needed is one simple ingredient, time.
2.5kg Shoulder of Lamb
400ml of Pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil
500g of Jerusalem artichokes, cleaned and halved
Tin of anchovies
3 cloves of garlic
Bunch of marjoram
Small bunch of rosemary
Small bunch of sage
Small bunch of mint
Small bunch of chives
Half a lemon, juiced
Preheat your oven to 220C.
Whilst the oven is preheating, prep the lamb. To make the delicious herby coating, in a blender, blend the olive oil, the rosemary, the marjoram, the sage, the garlic and the anchovies together with a good pinch of salt. This will form a thick, aromatic paste.
In your roasting tin, place your lamb shoulder and score. Take the herby pasta and rub all over the lamb shoulder until fully covered. Roast the shoulder at 220C for 25 minutes. Bring out and carefully cover with tinfoil. Reduce the heat to 160C and place the shoulder back in the oven and roast for 2 ½ hours.
Shortly before the lamb is due to be ready, it's time to get the artichokes cooked. Lightly caramelise the artichokes in a little butter in an oven-proof pan and then place into oven with the lamb for 25 minutes or until soft. Dress with chopped chives, mint and lemon juice and then serve along side the salty and savoury lamb. Enjoy with a glass of Bergecrac Blanc.