Incredible Slow Roasted Shoulder of Lamb

Recipe by Kookaburra
READY IN: 4hrs 30mins


  • Lamb
  • 1
    (2 kg) lamb shoulder, bone in (ask the butcher to score lightly between the bones for you)
  • 1
    bunch fresh rosemary (a large bunch, or two small bunches)
  • 1
    bulb of garlic, unpeeled (use 2 bulbs if you love garlic)
  • sea salt, crushed
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • Sauce
  • 1
    tablespoon flour
  • 500
    ml chicken stock (from a can or carton is fine)
  • 2
    tablespoons capers, soaked, drained and chopped (optional, I hate capers, so I leave them out)
  • 1
    bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked off and very finely chopped (a large bunch, or 2 small bunches)
  • 2
    tablespoons red wine vinegar


  • First, preheat your oven up as hot as it will go.
  • Now, using a sharp knife, slash through the fat layer of the lamb at about 1" (2.5cm) intervals, then do it in the opposite direction to form a diamond pattern.
  • Pour a little olive oil into the base of a high-sided (2-3" deep) roasting tin and then add half of the rosemary sprigs - Jamie is quite generous with the amount of rosemary, so don't be shy about it - I guess I used about 12 x 5" sprigs on the bottom, and another 10-12 on top).
  • Scatter over half of the unpeeled garlic cloves (a full bulb if you're a garlic freak, half a bulb if you're a little more timid).
  • Now place the lamb on top, pour over enough oil to coat the lamb and rub it in with your hands.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and rub into the lamb.
  • Scatter the rest of the rosemary and garlic cloves on top of the lamb.
  • Cover the roasting tin tightly with aluminium foil (you may need several layers to make sure it's tightly covered), then place on the centre rack of the pre-heated oven.
  • Immediately turn the heat down to 170°C (325°F) or slightly lower if your oven is fan forced - I cooked mine at 160°C in my fan forced oven.
  • Cook for four hours.
  • When the lamb is cooked, remove from the oven, remove the foil, and you will find the large bone simply pulls away clean.
  • Now, use two forks to separate the meat from the smaller bones, and pile the meat onto a plate - being careful to remove any small bones.
  • Cover meat and keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
  • Remove and discard any sprigs of rosemary in the baking tin - (don't worry about the little leaves that have fallen off the sprigs).
  • Remove the roasted garlic cloves to a plate and let them cool a little.
  • Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of oil, but try to ensure that you leave the cooking liquor in the pan - this is achieved easily with a separating jug OR you can pour the whole lot into a tall glass and allow the oil to rise to the top, pour off the excess oil, and pour the rest back into the pan.
  • Now, pop the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins, add to the roasting pan and smash up with the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Place the roasting pan on the stove (I place it over two hobs) over a medium heat.
  • Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour, then stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, gradually add the chicken stock.
  • Boil, stirring, for about 5 minutes (this doesn't make a thick gravy, so don't be concerned if it doesn't thicken much).
  • Now add the finely chopped mint and the red wine vinegar and the capers if using.
  • Boil briefly and then pour into a jug remember this is more of a sauce than a gravy, so it won't be thick.
  • Serve the lamb, giving each person about 3-4 tablespoons of the sauce poured over the top of the meat.