Pulled lamb shoulder with sticky pomegranate glaze

Pulled lamb shoulder with sticky pomegranate glaze

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(28 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…

  • 1½ kg bone-in lamb shoulder joint



    A lamb is a sheep that is under 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • 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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Lindsey Rix's picture
Lindsey Rix
5th May, 2020
Loved this and hubby did too .. but as others have said it needs some tweaks to the timings ... last 30 mins of cooking time needs to be reduced to about 7 minutes ... also invest in a deep stone frying pan as nothing sticks to it ... so no spoilt pans ... and dont over reduce the sauce as it will taste burned ... once it bubbles and looks thicker take it off even if it runs off the spoon .. I spread the sauce on a plate with a wooden spoon and it went sticky when cold that was perfect to use .. it also goes a darker colour...and cook with bacofoil non stick paper so baking tray is protected too ... other than that is very tasty and will be cooking again and again ... enjoy folks :)
Steve Chase's picture
Steve Chase
22nd Feb, 2020
Have to agree with a few others. The last 30 minutes is way too long. I went for 20 and took ut out after 15 and the sauce was just gone. Next time maybe 5 or 10 mins at a push. Very nice but did take the edge off for me with the last 30 mins
30th Dec, 2018
Fabulous recipe. I used a little less than a litre of juice and the quantity was perfect. Liquid thickened as it should. Perfect in every way. I served it with flatbread and couscous salad.
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.


foxy01's picture
13th Jul, 2019
Could I use pork instead of lamb and if so what cut?
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Jul, 2019
Thanks for your question. We think these flavours marry better with lamb. As an alternative, we'd suggest trying one of our pulled pork recipes like this one: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2604650/maplemustard-pulled-pork or https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/pulled-pork If you do want to try the above with pork - we'd suggest using shoulder and following one of the above recipes for cooking times.
17th Dec, 2018
Could this be done with a leg rather than a shoulder? And if so, does the recipe/timings need altering? Thanks!
goodfoodteam's picture
18th Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question, we suggest sticking with shoulder. Shoulder is ideal for slow cooking as it becomes tender, remains moist and pulls apart when done. Leg is leaner and works better for roasting.
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?
17th Dec, 2018
Did you try this with a leg ever?
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!


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.
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