Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Braised Lamb Shoulder with Beetroot Sauce

On these long dark nights, treat yourself to braised lamb drizzled with a flavourful alternative to gravy.

Words & recipes: Ruth Pretty  Styling & photographs: Carolyn Robertson


⅓ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh
thyme or oregano leaves
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5kg boned lamb shoulder
1.5 litres water
2 tablespoons vinegar
Beetroot Sauce (recipe follows)


Combine olive oil, thyme and garlic and rub over the lamb. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Heat oven to 200°C.

Put the lamb in a well-greased casserole dish or roasting tray. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes or until lamb is beginning to colour. Reduce the heat to 160°C. Add water and vinegar to the roasting tray, then cover and cook for another 2½ to 3 hours, until very tender. Remove from the oven.

Transfer the lamb to a clean tray and cover with a heavy tea towel. Rest away from heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Carve and serve hot with Beetroot Sauce. Serves 6

Beetroot Sauce

This is super-quick to make with freshly made beetroot juice from a juice bar (it has a short shelf life, but can be frozen until needed). If making beetroot juice, 1kg fresh beetroot will make 400ml juice.


Pour 400ml beetroot juice and 250ml liquid chicken stock into a small pot set over medium heat and simmer until reduced by half. Add 1 tablespoon redcurrant or other fruit jelly, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Mix 2 teaspoons cornflour with 1 tablespoon cold water and add to the beetroot mixture, stirring until the sauce has thickened slightly.

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Serve immediately. Serves 6


If time permits, place lamb cooking juices into the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fat rises to the top. Skim off the fat and pour the meat juices into the Beetroot Sauce.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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