Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Potatoes

This lamb shoulder can be prepared in advance, is really hard to mess up, looks impressive, and is incredibly tasty, all of which make it a perfect meal for a holiday or a dinner party. I first discovered it when my daughter’s friends were coming to visit. In our quest to show them and do everything UK/London, we wanted to take them for Sunday roast, a UK tradition I never knew about until I lived here! What we’ve found is that places often run out of the various portions of Sunday roast (another foreign concept for an American -though one that I very much respect since I hate wasting food). The pub called to give us a heads up that since we were coming later in the day, they might be out of things, but we could order their slow cooked lamb shoulder in advance. I did, and it turned out to be a great decision! This lamb is slow roasted for about 3-4 hours, and when it’s done it literally falls off the bone. 

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Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder

  • Author: Emily
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3-4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x


  • 1 lamb shoulder with or without the bone, about 1 kilos/2½ – 3 pounds 
  • 1 ½2 teaspoon fine sea salt (more if you’re using coarse salt) + another teaspoon or 2 to sprinkle on the lamb
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary + a few extra pieces to sprinkle around
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 kilo/a little over 2 pounds of potatoes
  • 10 to 15 cloves garlic cloves, peeled and ends cut off


  1. 4 hours before (or the night before) you’re going to cook it, rub about 1 ½ -2 teaspoons of salt, the 2 tablespoons of rosemary, and some black pepper onto the lamb. Leave in the refrigerator covered until you’re ready to roast it. Remove to the counter ½ hour before roasting.
  2. Preheat oven to 205C/400F
  3. Cut up the potatoes into chunks and peel the garlic cloves. Place in a heavy bottomed pot (ideally cast iron) place 4 or 5 stems of rosemary throughout the potatoes/garlic. Place the lamb on top and cook for 50 minutes. Turn the lamb over half way through this high-heat cooking. 
  4. After 50 minutes, turn the heat to 160C/320F and cook for another 3 hours. Test for tenderness. You should be able to easily pull it apart with 2 forks. With this method of cooking, the potatoes will cook confit (in the lamb drippings) which is very tasty, but if you want a lighter dish, roast the potatoes on a separate baking tray with an additional tablespoon or 2 of olive oil. 
  5. Remove from the oven and allow the lamb to rest for about. 20 minutes in the pot. Then transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

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