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Try this Provençal lamb shoulder on fondant potatoes for a delicious summer recipe. A herb-encrusted shoulder of lamb rests on a bed of potatoes and tomatoes, giving them incredible flavour as they roast together in one pan.

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Chef’s note

There is something wonderful about having friends over when the weather is miserable outside: it is permissible to sit indoors over a long lunch, fuelled by wine, whisky and a delicious roast. For this Provençal classic, everything is cooked together in one pan: a herb-encrusted shoulder of lamb sits on a bed of potatoes and tomatoes, generously giving its juices and incredible flavour to them as it roasts. The potatoes also sit in half an inch of stock, rendering their bottoms melt-in-the-mouth while their tops crisp up beautifully.

Recipe Card

Provençal Lamb Shoulder on Fondant Potatoes

This recipe features a Provençal lamb shoulder cooked on a bed of potatoes and tomatoes in one pan, making it easy to prepare and perfect for a long indoor lunch with friends. The lamb is herb-encrusted and gives its juices and incredible flavor to the potatoes and tomatoes. The potatoes are melt-in-the-mouth and crispy on top, thanks to sitting in half an inch of stock.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Dinner Party recipe, Provençal cooking, Provençal recipes, Recipe from Provence, Shoulder of Lamb, Lunch party
Servings: 6 people
Author: Caroline Rimbert Craig


For the lamb

  • –4½ lb 1.6–2 kg lamb shoulder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried thyme sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

For the potatoes

  • 3 lb 5 oz 1.5 kg potatoes, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks
  • 14 oz 400 g ripe tomatoes
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves lightly bashed in their skins
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups 450 ml vegetable or chicken stock


  • Remove the lamb shoulder from the fridge at least 2 hours before roasting. Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220˚C).
  • To start, pour one tablespoon of olive oil over the base of a relatively deep roasting pan or large lasagne dish. Arrange the potatoes in the dish. Chop the tomatoes into similar-sized pieces and add them to the potatoes. Add the bay leaves and garlic cloves, then sprinkle over the thyme, salt, and black pepper. Finally, add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Mix everything together, then pour in two-thirds of the stock, aiming for the liquid to come halfway up the potatoes.
  • Place the lamb shoulder directly on top of the potatoes and drizzle olive oil over it. Sprinkle rosemary and thyme over the lamb, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put the dish in the oven and roast for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 and a half hours, depending on the size of your shoulder. Turn the meat over every 30 minutes and check the liquid level in the base. If it looks too dry, add the remaining stock. After 1 and a half hours, your shoulder should be cooked and still pink in the centre. Remove the dish from the oven and transfer the meat onto a board. Cover it with foil and let it rest.
  • Assess the potatoes: those that have been sitting directly under the meat may lack that desirable golden brown crispy top. If this is the case, turn the oven up to 475˚F (240˚C) while the meat is resting on the counter. Then, put the potatoes back in the oven for 5-10 minutes to cook to perfection.
  • Carve the rested meat and serve it with the potatoes and plenty of red wine.

Extracted from France Today Magazine.

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Recipe taken from Provence, The Cookbook by Caroline Rimbert Craig, published by Interlink Books (2022). Photography by Susan Bell.

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