Roast Lamb with Artichokes and Lemons (2023)

Bon Appétit

By Jody Williams



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Roast Lamb with Artichokes and Lemons (1)

Roast Lamb with Artichokes and LemonsPeden and Munk Taylor and Jen

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Lamb shoulder is a little fattier than the leg, and becomes meltingly tender in Williams's mostly hands-off method. Earmark this one for your next dinner party.


Makes 6 servings

Lamb and artichokes:

1/4 cup olive oil

1 5–7-pound bone-in lamb shoulder

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 cups dry white wine

1 14-ounces can whole peeled tomatoes

1 head garlic, halved crosswise

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 lemons, halved crosswise

6 baby artichokes

Anchovy-Herb oil and assembly:

1/2 cup olive oil

4 anchovy fillets, packed in oil, drained

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher salt

  1. Lamb and artichokes:

    Step 1

    Preheat oven to 325°. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Generously season lamb on all sides with salt and pepper and cook, turning often, until well browned, 12–15 minutes. Transfer lamb and oil to a roasting pan.

    Step 2

    Carefully add wine to skillet, scraping up browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 2 cups water and pour into roasting pan. Squeeze lemons over lamb; add to pan. Roast 3 hours.

    Step 3

    Meanwhile, remove tough dark outer leaves from artichokes. Using a serrated knife, trim 1" from top. Trim stems and remove tough outer layer with a vegetable peeler. Halve artichokes lengthwise. Toss to coat with pan juices and tuck under and around lamb. Roast, turning artichokes occasionally, until artichokes are tender and meat is falling off the bone, 1 1/2–2 hours. (Remove artichokes if they become too soft before meat is done.)

  2. Anchovy-herb oil and assembly:

    Step 4

    Pulse oil, anchovies, garlic, parsley, mint, and red pepper flakes in a food processor until smooth; season with salt.

    Step 5

    When done, place lamb in a large bowl and transfer artichokes, lemons, and garlic with a slotted spoon to bowl. Pour anchovy-herb oil over; tent with foil. Transfer pan juices to a glass measuring cup. Let sit a few minutes, then spoon off fat from surface. Serve lamb with artichoke mixture and pan juices.

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Reviews (11)

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  • I made this recipe for a small dinner party and got rave reviews. I don't like overly fatty cuts of meat so I actually made it with a 3.5 lb leg of lamb and roasted it for 3 hrs and it turned out tender. Used canned artichokes because I've never seen baby artichokes at my grocers. Did everything else per the recipe. The flavor and presentation were restaurant quality. And the Anchovy-Herb Oil was so easy to make and a total hit.

    • rnanniege

    • Glenwood Springs, CO

    • 5/1/2017

  • Not a review, but a question: i am wondering if this would work well in an "Instant Pot". Any opinions or has anybody tried?

    • kimml

    • Victoria, BC, Canada

    • 4/24/2017

  • Wonderfully succulent lamb. The smells, during the roasting, are wonderful. I paired w/ spinach and rice recipe on epicurious. Just a great dinner and would make a terrific party dinner. I highly recommend starting out w/ a very hot pan to lend the lamb some crisp. Added frozen artichokes 20 min before the end which was lovely. Paired w/ the rest of the white wine.

    • cheerycook

    • DC

    • 5/17/2016

  • I didn't make this to spec, but great flavor profiles. It's warmly reminiscent of Roman spring stew I made last year while studying abroad! Since my budget didn't allow for lamb today, I used beef stew meat instead and also threw in quartered, seared fennel bulbs and spring garlic I got at the market, and some rosemary sprigs for good measure. Also, throw chopped anchovies into the mix before everything is braised, you won't regret it! As I made this as a stew rather than a roast I eschewed making the anchovy oil- although it sounds delicious. I didn't neglect to serve this with some nice fresh ciabatta, however. Very satisfied, homey as well as good for guests; it's an attractive dish.

    • smiggins

    • Oakland, CA

    • 3/12/2016

  • Not a review but a question, it looks like a lamb shank in the picture, could this recipe be done with them instead or would it be too fatty?

    • luna181

    • toronto

    • 5/12/2015

  • Should I cover the roast while in the oven?

    • Madrea

    • 3/19/2015

  • I have no access to lamb roasts or baby artichokes, so I used canned artichoke hearts and lamb shoulder chops and sautéed them instead of roasting. It tasted great and will definitely make this again. If I can get hold of a roast, I'll give it a try.

    • desmma

    • Waterloo, Iowa

    • 3/19/2015

  • This was incredibly flavorful. My roast was a bit smaller than the recipe called for so it cooked much more quickly than I anticipated, but it still turned out beautifully tender. The artichokes ended up under cooked but I'll know how to adjust in the future. Don't delete any of the aromatics. You can definitely taste them in the final result. My guests pronounced it a great success.

    • tgcool

    • Brookline, MA

    • 11/2/2014

  • This is a wonderful recipe for a whole lamb shoulder. I made it for a dinner party. One of the guests was a chef--and he had seconds. I did't have the artichokes, but instead served it with roasted fennel and asparagus, and couscous.

    • anneavery

    • Swoope, VA

    • 6/4/2014

  • I made this last night for company. I am not sure what was the issue for the previous reviewer, but this dish was fabulous and everyone agreed this was a keeper. I used 3 regular artichokes, and after browning the meat, we roasted it at 325 degrees using our Weber gas grill ( did not want to heat up the house). Poured the anchovy mixture over the meat and spooned the pan juices over that. My husband and I are both very accomplished cooks as are our friends...will certainly make this again.

    • nwilgus

    • Coral Springs, FL

    • 5/25/2014

  • In one word "horrible". Followed the recipe to the tee and it was an incredible disappointment. Had my butcher cut a six pound shoulder roast and bought beautiful baby artichokes. The artichokes burned even at 325 and the dish is just fatty. Prepared the anchovy and herb oil that was to pour over the roast. Needless to say, already to fatty.We love lamb and are accomplished cooks, but don't make this.

    • lisadavidson

    • jacksonville, fl

    • 5/10/2014

TagsLamb ShoulderLambMeatArtichokeVegetableMainDinnerBrunchLunchDairy FreeGluten FreeNut FreeFood ProcessorHanukkahSpringBon Appétit

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