Done right, lamb shoulder can create a show stopping roast that’s head and shoulders above the rest! Getting it spot on takes more than just guessing but cooking your lamb shoulder to perfection is worth every effort! Read on for a step-by-step guide to cooking your best lamb shoulder yet.
Choosing Your Lamb
Not all lamb is created equal and the secret to a great lamb shoulder dish lies in starting with the best possible cut of meat. That’s why we’d always recommend visiting your local butchery and ticking the following boxes when choosing your lamb – whatever the cut. Click the links to learn more.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Once you’ve sourced the best quality lamb possible, it’s time to don your apron, sharpen your knife and get ready to cook up a storm. We’ve based this recipe on a 2kg lamb shoulder, so be sure to use a thermometer to make sure other sized cuts are cooked just right. Here’s our guide to nailing your lamb shoulder every time.
- Take your meat out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking – this will allow it to come up to room temperature and cook evenly.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (knock it down to 200°C for a fan oven) or gas mark 7 and remove any extra shelves to make room for the meat and allow maximum circulation.
- Time to prepare the meat: take your lamb shoulder and place it on a chopping board skin side up, carefully pierce the fatty skin with a sharp knife and then tease out small holes with your fingers – these will act as little pockets to inject flavour into the meat.
- You can add any herbs and seasoning you like but the classic combination of garlic and rosemary never fails to impress – add whole, peeled cloves of garlic and fresh sprigs of rosemary into each and every slit in the skin, then massage every surface of the meat with olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper and rock salt.
- Roast the lamb skin side up for around 20-30 minutes and turn over to skin side down once browned – roasting for the same amount of time until every surface has browned
- Now’s the time to add your veggies and potatoes for roasting. Remove the lamb from the tin and throw them in with another glug of olive oil before placing the meat back on top – you can add some lamb stock to the tin if the drippings are starting to dry out or burn.
- Crank the temperature down to around 140°C or gas mark 3 and roast low and slow for around 4 hours or until the meat falls off the bone with just a gentle prod from a fork!
- Remove your lamb from the oven and place onto a large chopping board - cover tightly in foil to keep it warm. It needs to rest now for at least 20 minutes to keep those succulent juices in and make sure it’s as tender as can be.
- Transfer your veggies and roasties to serving dishes once the meat is rested and then make a gravy with all of those delicious deposits left in the bottom of the tin.
- Carve your lamb shoulder by running your knife flat along either side of the ridge bone to remove the big sections of meat, then pull away any smaller pieces left on the bone. Remember to always carve against the grain of the meat and cut generous slices! Serve up with all the trimmings and a dollop of mint sauce – perfection!
So, there you have it – a step by step guide to cooking your best lamb shoulder yet. Cooked to perfection, your prize lamb is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face and make a whopping centre piece on any table. Pass the mint sauce and its lamb-bam-thank you mam!