Roast lamb with a herb-mustard crust










There is something so immensely pleasurable about a piece of lamb roasting in the oven, the scent of its mustard-herb marinade wafting through the kitchen before it slowly meanders through the whole house. Garlic adds its irresistible aroma and for an hour it’s half torture, half delicious anticipation of things to come. A roast is in my husband’s dictionary a proper Sunday dinner (he is an Englishman after all) and while I would love to serve an impressive gigot (leg), practicality and economy demand a smaller piece for us two or four. A shoulder works perfect as a roast for a small number of diners, since it’s size and the internal blade bone allow for a relative short cooking time. Pairing lamb with green beans and small potatoes is another must in our kitchen.

While mint sauce* is imperative in England as company to lamb, I love to give my lamb a French treatment with a herb-anchovy marinade and generous spoons of Dijon’s (or Beaune’s, while we are at the source) finest mustard. That mustard is a serious business is hard to ignore while in Burgundy, tasting stone-milled artisan moutardes, which are light years away from the (still very good) everyday Dijon we are using at home. The many distinctions of said condiment was revealed to Alexandre Dumas, fils while traveling through Burgundy. Hitting his hotel at 11 at night and ordering a light meal of two mutton chops and a cold chicken he was asked what kind of mustard he would like with his supper. ‘Dijon mustard, of course’, he replied, while the waiter retorted, rather hurt, that they had ‘84 varieties for gentleman and 29 for ladies!’ One was definitely spoiled for choice in Burgundy then and still is today if you’ll travel through Burgundy and have to choose from the cornucopia of delicacies only a small, tiny selection to take home – as you might have noticed, I have problems with these kinds of restrictions.


* If you shy away from the tangy, sharp and definitely minty sauce for reasons of clichée & prejudice, you are missing a treat, even shop bought mint sauces are quite good and most definitely worth a try.



Lamb shoulder with a herb-mustard crust

Lamb shoulder with mustard-herb crust

Serves 2-4. Inspired by a recipe from the Larousse Gastronomique.


4 anchovies (in olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped sage
1 teaspoon chopped basil
½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
salt & pepper
olive oil, about 3 tablespoons

lamb shoulder with bone
one glass / ¾ cup / 200ml white wine


Pound anchovies to a smooth paste in a pestle and mortar, add garlic and mustard as well as the herbs, season with salt and pepper. The marinade should be well seasoned with a healthy amount of freshly ground pepper but start salting carefully if your anchovies are particularly salty. Mix with olive oil and coat/smear the lamb shoulder with the seasoning paste. Leave to marinade for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 220°C / 430°F and roast the lamb for 40-50 minutes depending on size of the piece. A lamb shoulder is comparatively small to a leg of lamb or gigot and has a flat bone in its centre which ensures a quicker roasting time than a larger leg. After about 40 minutes a small one should be done beautifully and slightly pink on the inside which is when I’ll take mine out and leave it to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce slightly to a thin but amazing gravy/sauce.



 Deutsches Rezept:

Lamb shoulder with a herb-mustard crust

Lammschulter mit Senf-Kräuterkruste

2-4 Portionen. Inspiriert von einem Rezept aus dem Larousse Gastronomique.


4 Sardellen (in Öl)
2 Knoblauchzehen, gehackt
2-3 EL Dijonsenf
Salbei, ca. 1 TL gehackter frischer Salbei
Basilikum, 1 TL gehackter frischer Basilikum
Rosmarin, ca. ½ TL gehackter frischer Rosmarin
Salz & schwarzer Pfeffer
Olivenöl, ca. 3 EL

Lammschulter mit Knochen
200ml Weißwein


Sardellen im Mörser zu einer Paste zerstampfen dann Senf und Knoblauch wie auch Kräuter hinzufügen und mit Salz und Pfeffer abschmecken. Die Marinade sollte etwas kräftiger gepfeffert sein, aber vorsichtig salzen, denn manche Sardellen haben es in sich. Mit Olivenöl vermischen und auf der Lammschulter verteilen, für mindestens eine Stunde marinieren lassen.

Ofen auf 220°C vorheizen und die Schulter je nach Größe 40-50 Minuten braten. Durch den flachen Knochen im Inneren benötigt eine kleine Lammschulter eine relativ kurze Garzeit im vergleich zur Lammkeule und sollte bereits nach 40 Minuten im Inneren noch leicht rosa sein. Ich nehme meine nach 40 Minuten heraus und lasse das Fleisch 10 Minuten ruhen, bevor das Lamm tranchiert/geschnitten wird. Den Bratensatz und Marinade mit einem guten Schuß Weiswein ablöschen und kurz zu einer dünnen aber vorzüglichen Sauce einkochen lassen.





10 thoughts on “Roast lamb with a herb-mustard crust

  1. Oh la la, mamdame! Fantastic lamb, just for when the autumn is slowly approaching. I’m not giving in yet, have another trip to the West and then five days in Sweden, but will make this beauty as soon as I am back. Jxxx

    • Thanks, Jeanette, have a great trip and a smashing time in Sweden (surströmming?)
      About the lamb, if you ask me, it tastes good in summer too, especially when summer takes a little ‘break’ like it did last week and suddenly one needs to find warm jumpers again, maybe light a fire and roast something… N xx

  2. Nicole, you outdid yourself. We love lamb and usually my hubby barbecues a rack of lamb or lamb chops. I’m willing to tackle this recipe , it looks fantastic .
    Did you ever try the German mustard. My girlfriend gave me some Einbecker mustard that was really good.

    • Thanks, Gerlinde, I am very sure, that if you love lamb, you’ll enjoy this roasted lamb shoulder. I love German mustard (hard not to if you grow up close to Düsseldorf) but would not use it here, it’s too harsh. Don’t know Einbecker, will keep a lock-out for it.
      N xx

    • Hallo Miriam, wie schön! Lieben, lieben Dank. Sorry für die verspätete Antwort, Urlaub, Urlaubssehnsucht und jetzt schon wieder Urlaubsbedarf… Es gab grüne Bohnen dazu mit ganz viel Bohnenkraut und bei uns fast schon die Default-Beilage: Rosmarinkartoffeln. Also viele Kräuter an allem!
      Nicole xxx

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