Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder

I thought with Easter just a few days away I would share my recipe for tender, succulent, slow cooked lamb. I cook it with the classic rosemary and garlic, and I add lots of lemon halves to the baking dish. When it cooks for almost four hours under a foil cover, you get melt in the mouth meat and a lemony sauce. Shoulder is the best cut, and make sure it’s still on the bone. Long slow cooking melts the fat and leaves you with soft, tasty meat. The quantities below are for one shoulder, but you could easily double it; and all quantities are approximate, add as much or as little as you like. I also add peeled, seasoned potatoes to the pan after the lamb has cooked for about two hours.


  • one lamb shoulder on the bone, approx 1.5 kg to 1.8 kg
  • 2 or 3 lemons, halved
  • 2 or 3 onions or french shallots, halved (skin on)
  • one whole head of garlic, broken into pieces
  • 10 to 12 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • fresh black pepper and sea salt to season
  • extra virgin olive oil

Optional: potatoes, halved or whole, scrubbed and seasoned with sea salt

1. Pre heat the oven to low, about 120 C to 150 C.

2. Begin by trimming only the thickest bits of fat from the lamb. Season well with the salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the lamb.  Drizzle well with some olive oil and put it into a large baking dish. Pour in some extra olive oil for cooking, just enough to barely cover the bottom of the dish.

3. To the baking dish add all the other ingredients (except potatoes if using). Cover with foil and put it in the oven. Cook for two hours, then turn the lamb over. If you are adding potatoes to the pan, add them now.

4. Cover with foil again and return to the oven for another hour and a half to two hours.

5. To serve, pull the lamb away from the bone using tongs. Serve the chunks of meat on a platter with lots of pan juices spooned over the top, and the potatoes on the side.

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