Five Spiced Mulled Wine Lamb Shoulder, Braised Fennel and Lamb Fat Potatoes




The flavours of Chinese five spice and red wine come together beautifully in this set-and-forget slow-cooked lamb shoulder. As an added bonus, once the lamb is done the slow-cooking liquid becomes a decadent red wine gravy and the lamb fat is used to make crispy roast potatoes. Tie this all together with a one-step salsa and you’ve got yourself a winning dish! 



 For the lamb shoulder and red wine gravy 

  • ¬†1 lamb banjo shoulder (approx. 1.8kg)¬†
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds¬†
  • 1 Tbsp Sichuan peppercorn¬†
  • 2 tsp cloves¬†
  • Zest from 1 orange¬†
  • 1 tsp salt¬†
  • 3¬†Tbsp brown sugar¬†
  • 1 carrot¬†(chopped)¬†
  • 2 celery stalks¬†(chopped)¬†
  • 2 brown onions¬†(chopped)¬†
  • 5 garlic cloves¬†(peeled and flattened)¬†
  • 3 star¬†anise¬†
  • 1 cinnamon stick¬†
  • 2 bay leaves¬†
  • 1 chicken stock cube¬†
  • 200ml water¬†
  • 500ml dry red wine (I used merlot)¬†
  • Salt flakes to season¬†


For the herbed salsa 

  • ¬†¬Ĺ bunch coriander¬†
  • ¬Ĺ bunch parsley¬†
  • 1 garlic clove¬†
  • 1¬†Tbsp white wine vinegar¬†
  • Salt and pepper to taste¬†
  • 50ml olive oil¬†



¬†1)¬†Preheat the oven to 140¬ļC.¬†

 2) For the lamb shoulder, toast the fennel seeds, Sichuan peppercorn and cloves in a dry pan until fragrant. Grind spice into powder and mix in the orange zest, salt, and brown sugar. 

 3) Rub the spice mix into the meat side of the lamb shoulder, leaving the fat uncovered. Stand for at least 30 minutes. 

 4) In a large roasting tray, add the carrot, celery, onions, garlic, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and crumbled the chicken stock cube over. Place the lamb shoulder skin side up on top of the vegetables. 

 5) Pour in the water and red wine in the roasting tray. Cover tightly with aluminium foil and roast for about 4-4.5 hours. You’ll know the lamb is done when it is fork tender. 

¬†6) Remove the roasting tray from the oven and turn it up to¬†220¬ļC. Discard the aluminium foil,¬†pat the skin of the lamb dry and sprinkle with salt flakes¬†‚Äď it‚Äôs time to crisp up that lamb skin!¬†

¬†7)¬†Return the roasting tray to the oven and roast for 30 minutes until the lamb skin is golden-brown and crispy.¬†Remove the roasting tray from the oven and¬†transfer lamb shoulder to a plate ‚Äď cover with aluminium foil until serving.¬†¬†

¬†8) Remove the star anise, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves from the¬†roasting tray. Skim off the top layer of lamb fat ‚Äď you can use this for the crispy potatoes!¬†

 *BONUS ROUND*: At this point, if you’ve timed it right the potatoes and the fennel can go into the oven as you prepare the sauce and herbed salsa! 

 9) Add the leftover contents of the roasting tray to a blender (or use a stick blender) and blend till a smooth gravy forms. Pass the gravy through a sieve if you want it extra smooth and transfer to a pouring jug. 

 10) For the herbed salsa, add all the ingredients except for the olive oil to a small food processer and process until the herbs are chopped finely. Stir through the olive oil, taste and adjust seasoning and vinegar. 

¬†11)¬†Transfer¬†the salsa to the plate with the lamb, shred the lamb and serve with the red wine gravy! (and¬†maybe some delicious¬†sides like the braised fennel and crispy potatoes below¬†ūüėä).Page Break¬†


Braised and charred orange and chilli fennel (serves 4) 

This¬†simple¬†one-pan fennel dish is a perfect side to any festive spread!¬†Pan fried and then braised with orange juice and chilli ‚Äď sweet + salty + spicy + fennel makes a winning combination!¬†


  • ¬†3 fennel bulbs¬†
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes¬†
  • Juice of 1 orange¬†
  • 25 ml¬†Olive oil for frying¬†
  • Salt flakes to season¬†
  • Fennel fronds reserved for garnish¬†



¬†1)¬†Preheat the oven to 220¬ļC.¬†

2)¬†Prepare the fennel by removing the fronds¬†(reserve for garnish), slicing it down the middle then slicing each half into quarters. Trim any excess fennel core that feel tough ‚Äď I try not to cut too much of it off because braising makes it soft enough to eat.¬†

 3) Add the olive oil to a large stainless steel and oven-proof pan over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the fennel sections cut side down and sprinkle with salt flakes. Fry for about 3 minutes or until the fennel has started turned golden brown. Flip each fennel section, sprinkle with more salt flakes and fry the other side for a further 3 minutes. In the last minute of frying, scatter the chilli flakes around the pan. 

 4) Pour orange juice over the fennel and place lid on the pan. Place the pan in the oven for 10 minutes. 

¬†5) After 10 minutes have passed,¬†remove the lid from the pan and flip the fennel. You want to keep an eye on the fennel in this last 10 minutes ‚Äď this is when the braising liquid reduces to a beautiful glaze¬†and also¬†gives the fennel a light char.¬†

 6) Once the sauce has reduced to a sticky glaze and the fennel is lightly charred, remove the pan from the oven and transfer fennel onto a plate, saving some glaze to spoon over the fennel. 

 7) Garnish with reserved fennel fronds and serve. 


Crispy lamb fat potatoes (serves 4) 

¬†Use up the reserved lamb fat to make the crispiest¬†roast¬†potatoes ever!¬†A perfect and indulgent side of carbs¬†that stay crispy ‚Äď amazing when straight out the oven but still just as good after the post-lunch nap!¬†



  • ¬†1kg kestrel potatoes¬†
  • 50ml leftover lamb fat¬†
  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives¬†
  • Salt flakes to season¬†



¬†1)¬†Preheat the oven to 220¬ļC.¬†

 2) Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water (about 5cm higher than the potatoes).  

 3) Salt the water and place on medium-high heat until the water is boiling. Turn heat to medium and gently boil for 15 minutes or until a fork easily pierces the potatoes.  

 4) Drain into a colander and leave to slightly cool. In the meantime, add the lamb fat to a baking tray and place it in the oven to heat up for 10 minutes. 

 5) Using a knife, cut the potatoes into quarters and roughly shake them in the colander to rough up the edges. Carefully transfer the potatoes into the baking tray (they should sizzle), and season with salt flakes. Bake for 20 minutes. 

 6) After 20 minutes, flip the potatoes and season again with salt flakes, Roast for a further 20 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. 

 7) Transfer to a bowl, toss through the chives and serve immediately. 

This recipe was created by Dan Dumbrell, check out Dan's instagram here.