Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with anchovy & rosemary

Slow-roast shoulder of lamb with anchovy & rosemary

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(28 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 4 hrs


Serves 6
This generous dish of melt-in-the-mouth lamb feels extravagant, but is an inexpensive way to feed a crowd

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal535
  • fat41g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs5g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre1g
  • protein37g
  • salt0.67g
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  • 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…

  • 3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped



    Silver, slender salty little fish found mainly around the Black Sea and the Pacific and Atlantic…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 whole lemons



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1½ kg shoulder of lamb, on the bone



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • small glass white wine


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Finely chop the rosemary, then mix with the garlic, capers, anchovies, olive oil and zest and juice of 1 lemon, reserving the used lemon halves. Make 3-4 slashes across the top of the shoulder, then rub the rosemary mixture all over the lamb.

  2. Scatter the onion into the base of a large roasting tin, cut the remaining lemon in half, squeeze the juices into the tin, and place all the used lemon halves in the tin with the onions. Place the lamb on top and roast for 1 hr. Pour in the wine and roast for a further 3 hrs until the meat is really tender. Leave to rest for 15 mins then serve, pulled into chunks rather than carved, with any pan juices.

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Comments, questions and tips

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20th Jan, 2014
After reading the comments I just 1/4 one lemon and sat the meat on top with the onions. I found this made a lovely sticky concoction which wasn't burnt at all. There was a slight tint of bitter but not overwhelming but really pleasant. I found my lamb shoulder released so much juices and with the addition of the wine kept the pan very moist.
14th Aug, 2013
Just delicious. I made this with a 2kg leg to end with a little less fat Used the same timings and most of the same ingredients but a little less lemon and loads more wine. It seemed odd to deeply cut a leg however it worked incredibly well. Went to a BBQ and rolled the leg until the outside crisped then sliced down to the bone for a little pink middle and melt in the mouth outer. Try it.
24th Mar, 2013
One member of my family found the lemons too strong in the meat juice so I would advise to use only one. I however quite enjoyed the taste. I added lamb gravy granules with some water to create more sauce. Many of the red onions burned. The meat was very tender and practically fell off the bone; I got many 'mhmm' noises at the table. I served it with honey-glazed carrots, broccoli and roasted potatoes.
28th Feb, 2013
I've made this several times and it has always been delicious. With a fan oven don't be tempted to go any higher than 140 or it does dry out. I've just made it with a mixture of lime and lemon as I didn't have enough and shallots as I had no red onions. Still fab.
20th Jan, 2013
Made this today with slight amendments as I didn't have everything in. Used red wine instead of white and preserved lemons instead of fresh -all worked well and would definately do it again. As some said, there was little juice at the end but just added a bit of water and made a gravy in the roasting pan on th hob, super.
24th Nov, 2012
My shoulder of lamb was twice the size of the one in the recipe (bought the shoulder first then looked for ways to cook it). I cooked it for 5.5 hours. The "juices" in the pan kept drying up, so I kept on adding wine. In the end I had used a whole bottle. The friends who ate it said it was "the best lamb they'd ever eaten" - it was scrummy.
13th Nov, 2012
Would have preferred plain roast lamb with mint sauce. Like other people I thought the lemon added an unwelcome bitter taste, plus the pan juices just tasted burnt.
4th Oct, 2012
All the Alchohol dissapears with not alchoholic at all once cooked :0)
2nd Oct, 2012
Hi is there an altenrative to the wine (no alcoholic?)
1st Oct, 2012
Way to much lemon, must be an error ?


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