Slow-roast lamb and Pinot Noir

The Perfect Winter Pairing

Pinot Noir and lamb are a perfect match because the bright fruit notes and silky tannins in Pinot Noir act as a nice foil for the earthy richness in lamb. Pinot Noir loves food, especially roast lamb. To celebrate this wonderful classical match, here’s our melt-in-the-mouth lamb match. Desert Heart’s Slow-Roast, Shoulder of Lamb. This is a fail-proof dish for entertaining because you cannot over cook it!
Put it in the oven in the morning and forget about it until you are ready. Serve with lashings of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes and a steamed green vegetable.


  • 1 boned shoulder of lamb, 1.5-2kg (serves 5 to 6)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh herbs, finely chopped. I use thyme, rosemary & parsley
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 lemon zest only
  • 1½ cups beef stock or lamb stock
  • 2 cups Pinot Noir – Desert Heart (of course!).
  • We ditch the stock and use a whole bottle of Pinot Noir …


Heat the oven to 200 celsius.
Take a roasting pan and lay out the lamb, score with a knife, rub in the lemon zest and season with salt & pepper.
In a small jug or bowl, mix together the capers, anchovies, garlic and herbs. Add olive oil until you get a thick paste consistency.
Pour over the lamb and rub in well.
Place the lamb, uncovered in the 200c oven for about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and pour the stock and the wine into the pan. Cover with tinfoil, secure well (I use two layers of tinfoil to ensure a good seal).
Reduce the oven to 120c and return the lamb to the oven.
Cook for at least 4 to 5 hours, until the meat falls apart (do not be afraid to leave the lamb in the oven all day 7-8 hours at 110c).
Remove the lamb from the oven place on a serving platter and cover with tinfoil to rest (approx. 15 mins) and keep warm.
Use the pan juices (reduce if necessary or thicken with a little cornflour) place into a jug to pour over the lamb.
Just prior to serving, decorate the lamb platter with some fresh herbs, as the meat is to be pulled apart – not cut.
Place two forks on the platter.
Serve with the mashed potatoes and steamed green vegetable.

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