The potatoes with the roast shoulder of lamb were not a complete success. I should have cooked mash; but some children round here have been heard to grumble that mash is boring. I like potatoes cooked under the joint and crisped up at the end; but I did not want to give them eight hours in the oven. So I sliced and blanched the potatoes, checked on the meat 60 minutes early, and then decided.
The joint looked and smelled fantastic. The juices were too good to lose to absorption by the potatoes, I thought, so I took out the meat and made the sauce as I described yesterday, pouring it into a small saucepan. I tipped the potatoes into the empty roasting tin, and placed the lamb on top; I put the tin back on to the bottom of the oven.
That hour was pointless, potato-wise: their cooking did not progress at all. I took out the meat, put it in a warm dish, turned up the oven to gas mark 7/220 C, and put the potatoes on the top shelf. I checked after 15 minutes: there was hardly any fat in the tin, and the potatoes were dry, pale, and sticking to the bottom. I poured over some olive oil, and scraped them about a bit. After another 15 minutes they were much more appetising; but not as appetising as they would have been had I simply roasted them in my normal way (after taking the meat out of the oven). Better still, I might have made mash.