Recipe by Tuan

Slow roast lamb shoulder

With a guest staying with us over Easter long weekend and 4 days of nothing in particular planned, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to do a slow roasted lamb shoulder. The shoulder is a fatty cut which responds well to slow roasting, the fat content keeping the meat nice and juicy, plus at $10 a kilo from Woolworths it’s the cheapest chunk of lamb you’ll find  by far. $30p/kg for a puny rack? No thanks, that won’t feed the hungry masses. No way José, get youshelf a shoulder instead!

Slow roast lamb shoulder

You can cook it for 5 to 6 hours at 120 degrees fan forced, but I woke up late-ish so cooked it for 4 hours at 140 instead, but it still came out super tender and fall off the bone thanks to the chicken stock.

The results are simply spectacular for very little effort and better than any run of the mill lamb roast you get at cafés. Make it for dinner guests and you can be guaranteed their worship for the rest of eternity.

Slow roast lamb shoulder with rosemary and garlic recipe

Recipe adapted from Woman and Home.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 - 6 people


  • 1 lamb shoulder (room temperature, approximately 2 to 2.3kgs)
  • 1.5 bulbs garlic (1/2 peeled, the remainder broken up with skin on).
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 4 small onions, halved
  • 1 and 1/2 cups strong chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Cooking directions

  1. Preheat oven to 140 degrees celcius (fan forced).
  2. Peel half a bulb of garlic (approx 6 pieces) and grind in a mortar and pestle with the leaves from 3 to 4 rosemary sprigs and the olive oil.
  3. Slash the lamb every inch or so along the top, the cuts should be about 1/2cm deep.
  4. Rub the garlic/rosemary paste mixture over the top and sides and into the cuts.
  5. Season generously with pepper and a bit of salt.
  6. Spread the unpeeled garlic cloves, onion and most of the remaining rosemary (save some to put on top) around the bottom of a deep roasting pan and sit the lamb on top of it.
  7. Place the remaining rosemary sprigs on top of the lamb.
  8. Pour the chicken stock into the pan (pour it in the edge of the pan, not over the lamb).
  9. Cover the pan tightly with aluminium foil, you might need several layers, and put it onto the bottom rack of the oven away from the heating element.
  10. Cook for 4 hours at 140C, then take off the foil and cook for 20 mins at 180C to crisp the surface of the lamb. (or 5 hours at 120C if you have the time).
  11. Let rest for 10 - 20 mins and enjoy.

  • Sonia

    Mmmm… salivating.

  • Roy

    Here in the U.S, I think fan forced means a convection oven which I don’t have. What would your best guess be for a regular oven?

  • Susie Patton-Quinn

    Love the simplicity of this dish with only a few ingredients to create such a heartwarming roast! My sister Jonelle just moved back home after 18 years in London and she found your blog and introduced me to it (I have been here all my life and wondering how i haven’t heard of it)…anyway I am hooked. Tuan have you been to Evoo & Manoli – would like to know what you think of these two restuarants which I enjoy.

    • Tuan Nguyen

      Thanks for the feedback! I haven’t been to Evoo in ages so I can’t really comment. We had our work Christmas party at Manolis and I loved it. Excellent food and brilliant atmosphere!

  • SalvatoresCafe

    Awesome cooking guide. Thanks for sharing it. This are tips that You can always use in life. Thanks! :)

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