Pulled lamb shoulder with sticky pomegranate glaze

Pulled lamb shoulder with sticky pomegranate glaze

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(20 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 5 hrs Plus marinating


Serves 6
Cooking the meat really slowly in fruit juice makes it meltingly tender, and the juices double up as a sweet glaze

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal668
  • fat39g
  • saturates19g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars32g
  • fibre1g
  • protein46g
  • salt1.3g
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  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 1 lemon, quartered, pips removed



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

  • 1½ kg bone-in lamb shoulder joint



    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
  • 1l carton pomegranate juice
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 250g natural yogurt
  • 100g tub pomegranate seeds, or seeds from 1 fresh pomegranate



    Now mainly grown in America, Spain, the Middle East and India, pomegranates originated in the…

  • small handful mint leaves, chopped



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…


  1. Put the garlic, cinnamon, cumin, oregano and lemon in a blender with 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp black pepper. Blend until smooth. Put the lamb in a large roasting tin and tip the marinade over the top. Massage all over the lamb and leave for 24 hrs in the fridge, or up to 2 days.

  2. Remove lamb from the fridge 1 hr before cooking. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3. Scatter the onions around the lamb, tucking some underneath, then pour over the pomegranate juice. Cover the lamb with foil and cook for 4 hrs.

  3. Remove the foil, carefully pour the meaty pomegranate juices from the tin into a large saucepan and add the honey. Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7, re-cover the lamb and continue cooking for 30 mins. Meanwhile, bubble the cooking liquid over a high heat until reduced, thick and syrupy – this may take up to 30 mins.

  4. Pour the sticky pomegranate glaze over the lamb and onions and return to the oven for another 30 mins, uncovered, until the glaze is bubbling and just starting to char, and the lamb is really tender. Mix the yogurt, most of the pomegranate seeds and mint leaves in a small bowl. Shred the lamb at the table and serve with the sticky onions and the minty pomegranate yogurt. Scatter over the remaining pomegranate seeds.

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Comments, questions and tips

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8th Jun, 2017
This dish is fab for a dinner party, served with the apricot cous cous and roasted veg. I was confused about what to do with the lemon in the marinade, so just used the zest and the fleshy bit which seemed to work well! Highly recommended.
26th May, 2016
Hi just wondering about the pomegranate juice please. Did people use a "100% juice" or a fruit juice drink which is normally only around 25% juice mixed with water and other ingredients? Thanks
13th Mar, 2016
Delicious recipe. The last hour at 200C was too long however. After 15 minutes it started to burn.
4th Nov, 2014
Encouraged by all the positive comments, and wanting to cook something gluten free for a friend's wife, I tried this. Huge mistake. I cooked the lamb shoulder (bought in Waitrose so good quality) slowly for five hours and it was very tender but very greasy. The sticky pomegranate glaze ruined two pans and smelt burned although I followed the instructions. The end result was a greasy burned disaster-blob that ended up costing a fortune, taking all day and embarrassing me.
11th Mar, 2018
Couldn't agree more. The cooking instructions need to be changed. The picture looked tempting, the description mouth watering, but all I have to show for a lot of money and effort is a horrible burnt glaze taste in my mouth, a ruined roasting tin and a waste of a beautiful cut of lamb. I suggest for anyone brave enough to risk cooking this meal is keep a little fluid in your roasting pan so that the bottom doesn't burn, reduce the sauce to a glaze for no more than 10 mins and put back into the oven for 5 mins. Cooking it for 30 minutes just produces a black mess. You have been warned!
28th May, 2014
This was delicious!! The lamb could have been cut with a spoon, and the fat had rendered into the meat making incredibly moist succulent pulled lamb. I only used 750ml of pomegranate juice and this was plenty. When reducing the sauce I added 2 more tbsp of of honey and 2tbsp brown sugar. I also added a dash of balsamic which was lovely. The mint yoghurt was divine and I did roasted sweet potato and roasted veg to accompany it! For my first time cooking lamb shoulder it was incredible!! Already working out when I can cook it next
20th Apr, 2014
Made this for Easter Sunday dinner and it was devoured pretty quickly! I'm not a particular fan of lamb but really enjoyed this - it was very tender and the glaze was lovely. Despite the long time to prep and cook, the various stages were quick and simple - it's a good one to pop int he oven and forget about while you do/make other things. Very yummy and one I would definitely try again.
1st Apr, 2014
This was delicious. I've given it 4 stars rather than 5, as I found although the meat was tender, it did still need carving (and therefore wasn't really 'pulled' lamb shoulder!). For the marinade, I used two preserved lemons rather than a fresh one, and about 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses, as I had both in the cupboard. This lamb went beautifully with the 2 salads suggested.
24th Mar, 2014
Awesome recipe, looks so juicy. Please fill out this survey for those who love food ,it only takes few minutes! Really appreciate it! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WWQHDC6 Thanks
9th Feb, 2014
This is a gorgeous recipe. I'm not a big fan of lamb but cooked this for my guests and it was truly amazing! will definitely be making it again.


13th Jul, 2017
Please can anyone tell me how I should cook this in my slow cooker - how long and at what temperature? Sounds yummy!
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Mar, 2018
Thanks for your question. We haven't tested this one in the slow cooker so can't give specific instructions. We'd suggest cooking it on low for step 2 and increasing the cooking time to 8 hours. For ideas on how to adapt the recipe, check out our slow cooker tips here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-top-tips-using-slow-cooker
27th May, 2016
Can this recipe be used for a leg of lamb?
26th May, 2016
Hi just wondering about the pomegranate juice please. Did people use a "100% juice" or a fruit juice drink which is normally only around 25% juice mixed with water and other ingredients? Thanks
8th Jun, 2017
100% juice - quite expensive but worth it!
7th Aug, 2015
Has anyone cooked this in a slow cooker instead of the oven?. If so how long should I cook it for and should I reduce the liquid?.
25th Sep, 2013
Should the lemon be peeled, or with peel still on?
9th Mar, 2018
I was also confused by this, what did you do in the end?
25th Mar, 2014
1. I used a pyrex dish to cook the lamb (rather than a roasting tin), and it wasn't hard to clean up. 2. I used a wide, shallow frying pan to reduce the sauce/glaze, so the water evaporated as fast as possible.