Lamb Shoulder Roast Provençal
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Serves: 4 to 6
I adapted this recipe from a terrific Williams-Sonoma book called Everyday Roasting. That recipe called for a 5- to 6-pound leg butterflied and boned leg of lamb, which is great for holidays; I simplified the recipe a bit and called for a smaller cut, which is great for a more casual gathering of four to six diners. It's super easy, with few ingredients.
  • 1 3- to 4-pound boneless lamb shoulder roast
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • ½ cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Using a sharp paring knife, make 10 slits at regular intervals into the lamb. Cut two of the large garlic cloves into slivers and push the slivers into the slits of lamb. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Place the lamb into a resealable plastic bag set in a bowl. Add 2 cups of the wine. Seal the bag. Marinate the lamb in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.
  2. Before roasting: On a cutting board, mince the 4 remaining garlic cloves with the kalamata olives and the herbes de Provence with a little pepper until it forms a coarse paste. Drain the lamb; discard the marinade. Unroll the roast and evenly spread the olive paste in the inside of the meat. Roll up the lamb and tie securely with 100% cotton kitchen string at intervals of about 3 inches (see photo at the bottom of this post).
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a braiser or roasting pan, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Slide the braiser to the oven and roast until the meat registers 135°F (for medium-rare) or 150°F (for medium). It should take about 1½ to 2 hours for medium rare or 1¾ to 2¼ hours for medium.
  4. Remove the meat from the oven; transfer to a cutting board and cover with foil. Let it stand 15 minutes before carving (the meat's temperature should rise 10 degrees upon standing).
  5. For the sauce, while the meat is standing, place the braiser over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook briefly until softened, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 cup red wine and cook, stirring to loosen brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced by half. Whisk in 1 tablespoon butter, stirring until melted.
  6. Snip and discard the kitchen string; slice the lamb into thin slices. Arrange on a warmed platter and pass the sauce at the table.
Recipe by Wini Moranville at