Slow-roasted shoulder of lamb on a large metal platter

Slow-roasted shoulder of lamb

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(23 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 5 hrs plus at least 3 hrs marinating


Serves 4 with leftovers

Perfectly marinated meat that melts in the mouth is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Cook this roast for 5 hours, rest, then sprinkle with zesty gremolata

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal776
  • fat56g
  • saturates21g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre3g
  • protein48g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 2kg lamb shoulder
  • 3 onions, each sliced into 3 thick discs



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

For the marinade

  • 1 shallot, halved



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

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 anchovies



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

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, toasted
    Coriander seed

    Coriander seed

    kor-ee-and-er seed

    The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

  • ½ tsp pink peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp rosemary leaves



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

  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves picked
  • small bunch mint, leaves chopped



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

  • 70ml white wine
  • 4 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…

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • zest and juice 1 lemon



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

For the gremolata

  • zest ½ lemon



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

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint



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


  1. Make the marinade. Blitz 1 halved shallot, 4 garlic cloves, 4 cherry tomatoes, 2 anchovies, ½ tsp toasted cumin seeds, ½ tsp toasted coriander seeds, ½ tsp pink peppercorns, 2 tbsp rosemary leaves, leaves from 1 thyme sprig, chopped leaves from a small bunch mint, 70ml white wine, 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp brown sugar and zest of juice of 1 lemon in a food processor.

  2. Pierce 2kg lamb shoulder all over with a sharp knife, put it in a large roasting tin and slather the marinade onto the meat, coating thoroughly.

  3. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hrs, preferably overnight.

  4. Take the lamb out of the fridge at least half an hour before you cook it to bring it to room temperature. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

  5. Put 3 onions, each sliced into 3 thick disks, in the roasting tin, resting the lamb on top. Cover with tented foil and roast for 5 hrs, basting the meat occasionally.

  6. Remove from the oven, transfer the lamb to a board and allow to rest, covered, for at least 30 mins.

  7. Return the tin of onions and marinating juices to the oven to keep warm.

  8. Combine zest ½ lemon, 1 crushed garlic clove and 1 tbsp finely chopped mint in a bowl.

  9. Pull the lamb apart with forks and serve with the roasted onions and gremolata scattered over.

  10. Skim off any fat from the juices and serve alongside the lamb.

    You can use the leftover meat in Rosie's lamb shoulder flatbread recipe (see 'goes well with').

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Comments, questions and tips

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Nell Carter's picture
Nell Carter
29th Jun, 2020
Made this for my family and it was completely delicious. After a couple of hours the marinade had reduced down to a bit of a stodge, so I added a cup of water to the roasting tin and it created the most gorgeous gravy! Served with cumin and turmeric roast potatoes
26th Apr, 2020
Delicious and easy, I used a cast iron cocotte to cook this in. Marinaded overnight (didn’t have pink peppercorns). Cooked for the full 5 hours, mashed the onions into the sauce after taking out the meat. Didn’t need any other seasoning, it was perfect. Really tasty flavour, whole family enjoyed, the small shoulder fed 6, it was very rich.
30th Mar, 2018
Delicious tasty, no fuss, lamb dish my guests loved it.
31st Jul, 2017
This recipe is fantastic, its incredibly easy and the result is so delicious! I had a 1kg shoulder of lamb and cooked for 3 hours it was beautiful, Also didn't have pink peppercorns and added double amount of garlic. Om nom nom nom!
shoe2boot's picture
6th Jul, 2017
Gorgeous recipe, cooked it for 6 hours and it came to no harm. I doubled the marinade quantity as we like a lot of sauce and previous comment. I didn't have pink peppercorns but still tasted fabulous. I blitzed the marinade once cooled a little with the cooked onions in my smoothie maker and served with freshly dug new potatoes and freshly picked runner beans. It also reheated beautifully 2 nights later, was moist, tender and tasty.
17th Mar, 2017
This is absolutely fabulous. Basted twice during cooking. I found that there was not much liquid at the end of the resting time, so I zapped the onions in the food processor with some stock and served this as a delicious sauce. Served with mashed potatoes, peas and a green salad. Handed the gremolata separately; also some fresh mint sauce. Went down a treat with my French guests!
28th Nov, 2019
Will this work with a leg of lamb , if shoulder is unavailable?
lulu_grimes's picture
2nd Dec, 2019
Hello, Yes you can use a leg for this, as it's slow roasted you will get the same effect. Depending on the size of the leg you may need to cook it for longer, as in this recipe here, I hope this helps.
14th Nov, 2019
Can you cook this 2 days before (a Friday) and reheat on the Sunday? If you can, would I follow the recipe up to stage 5 and keep the lamb on the onions in fridge, ready to reheat. Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Nov, 2019
Thanks for your question. This dish will be much better if cooked and served on the day. We'd suggest a hearty casserole would be a better solution if you'd like to make it two days in advance and reheat:
Robert Tracy
23rd Sep, 2019
Can you please provide me with recommendation for the cooking time based on the weight of the joint? I have half a lamb shoulder and don't won't to over cook it. Cheers!
goodfoodteam's picture
24th Sep, 2019
Thanks for your question. As the lamb is slow-cooked, the cooking time doesn't need to be as exact as with other methods of cooking. For a half shoulder, we'd suggest around 4 hours.
31st May, 2019
I don't drink alcohol, is there any other substitute for the white wine? Thanks x
28th Mar, 2018
Would it be ok to use a 2kg leg of lamb for this recipe? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
1st Apr, 2018
We'd recommend sticking with lamb shoulder as this is more fatty and lends itself well to slow-roasting.
Deirdre Keane's picture
Deirdre Keane
19th Jan, 2018
Could this be cooked in a slow cooker on high ? Thanks


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