Slow-Cooked Spiced Shoulder of Lamb

, from Issue #61. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Slow-Cooked Spiced Shoulder of Lamb

Meltingly tender lamb is infused with aromatic spices that cut through the rich meat. With plenty of extra pan juices to spoon over everything, this is my perfect meal to share with family and friends.

Serves: 6


1 teaspoon each ground cumin, cardamom, allspice and smoked paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.2 – 1.5 kilogram boned lamb shoulder
4 red onions, thickly sliced
12 large cloves garlic, skin on
2 cups boiling water
sea salt and ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 220°C fan bake.

Combine all the spices in a small bowl with the oil.

Lightly score the skin side of the lamb with a sharp knife. Place skin side down in a lightly oiled, deep roasting dish and season generously with salt and pepper. 

Rub over half of the spice oil then turn over. Season and rub in the remaining spice oil. 

Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes to sear the lamb.

Reduce the oven to 140°C fan bake. 

Take the lamb out and add the onions and garlic to the pan, pushing some of them under the lamb. Season the onions then pour the water into the dish, but not over the meat. 

Place a piece of baking paper over the lamb then cover the dish very tightly with foil.

Cook the lamb for 2½ - 3 hours or until it will pull apart easily with a fork.   

Transfer the lamb, onions and garlic to a platter and cover to keep warm. 

Tip the pan juices into a saucepan and scoop off any surface fat then squeeze in the flesh from 4 of the cooked cloves of garlic. Boil for 5 minutes and season if needed. Tip into a jug and serve with the lamb. 

Menu: Serve with Rice with Puy Lentils and Roasted NutsRoasted Carrots with Yoghurt and Cracked Wheat, and Winter Greens Salad with Mint Dressing.