Braised shoulder of lamb with jewelled stuffing

Braised shoulder of lamb with jewelled stuffing

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(6 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins Plus soaking

More effort

Serves 6
A melt-in-the-mouth lamb dish so tender that you can carve it with the back of a spoon. Prepare to drool

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal767
  • fat52g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre2g
  • protein50g
  • salt0.81g


  • 1½ kg boned shoulder of lamb
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 175ml dry cider or dry white wine



    Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Apple orchards were…

  • 500ml chicken stock
  • strip orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 2 bay leaves

For the stuffing

  • 50g stoned dates, roughly chopped



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

  • 50g dried apricots, roughly chopped



    A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…

  • 25g dried cranberries


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • 25g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • handful parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for serving



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • zest ½ orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 3 slices stale bread, whizzed into crumbs


  1. To make the stuffing, soak the dates, apricots and cranberries in boiling water for 30 mins, then drain and squeeze dry gently. Mix with the rest of the stuffing ingredients and salt and pepper.

  2. Season the lamb well on both sides. Spread on the stuffing, then roll into shape and secure with string. Heat the oil in a large, lidded ovenproof pan. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.

  3. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Brown the onions in the remaining fat for 5 mins, add the garlic and sizzle for 30 secs. Now pour in the cider and as it bubbles, scrape up any caramelised bits at the bottom and sides of the pan. Add enough of the stock to come ¹/³ of the way up the lamb, and the orange zest, cinnamon and bay leaves.

  4. Cover with a piece of crumpled baking parchment and cook for 2½-3 hrs, turning halfway through, until the meat is completely tender. Remove and wrap with foil. Strain the juices and spoon off any fat that comes to the top, then put into a wide pan and boil to reduce for 5-10 mins, until slightly thickened and rich in flavour. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon or orange juice, if necessary. Slice the lamb and serve with the sauce, and parsley sprinkled over.

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th Apr, 2015
This recipe is a true winner. The taste of the filling is a perfect match for the lamb. I was lucky enough to have my butcher offer to stuff it and net it for me, so I simply took the filling along and that worked out well for me. The cooking timings were perfect too. The only confusion I had was that the recipe in the beginning calls for a lidded overproof pan whereas towards the end of the recipe it says the meat should be covered with crumpled baking paper. Which one is right? I opted for both, so I started out by covering it with the paper and the lid, and then removed the lid for the second half of the cooking. As a lamb lover, this will easily turn into my go-to recipe, it is truly wonderful.
7th May, 2011
I cooked this a couple of weeks ago for friends and it was absolutley delicious, but don't scrape on the lamb. Make sure you get it from a good source.
16th Mar, 2015
How many people does this serve? The number of portions isn't indicated...
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Mar, 2015
Hi marijas, thanks for getting in touch and well spotted! This has now been changed above to indicate the recipe serves 6. Thanks again. 
6th Apr, 2015
Thanks! Pity I saw your reply too late and my butcher advised double the quantity of meat for 6 people! Ah well, I now have a cooked shoulder in my freezer for a rainy day :)
28th Jan, 2019
This was absolutely glorious. Family of lamb lovers devoured it. I diced half a quince fruit and added that to the stuffing, my reasoning was to dial back the sweetness and add moisture. It was delicious. I also added wedges of the remaining half quince to the cooking liquid. Yummy.
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