A basic recipe for roasted shoulder of lamb. You will only need the lamb shoulder, salt and pepper.
Seriously, roasting a lamb shoulder could not get any easier. This is a one ingredient recipe, not counting the salt and pepper, which guarantees perfect results and gives you the freedom of choosing any kind of sides you can think of to go with the slow cooked lamb shoulder.
Roasted shoulder of lamb recipe
I don’t even know what to write about this lamb shoulder recipe… It is so easy, so basic, so straightforward, that there just aren’t many words I can think of writing about it. No intricate instructions, no caution words, nothing…
Just the shoulder of lamb, some salt and pepper, an oven and about 3 hours cooking time.
And the results are just wonderful, if you ask me. Actually, although I have cooked lamb in the oven in countless ways over the years, I keep coming back to this basic recipe.
I mean, it is so simple, I don’t have to do anything in advance or before getting the shoulder of lamb in the oven, I just put it in and wait for it to be ready.
Fall off the bone meat, tender and delicate, so delicious you will probably crave this roasted shoulder of lamb again by the end of the week. Minimal effort for exquisite results!
Cooking times for the slow cooked shoulder of lamb
First of all, take the lamb shoulder out of the refrigerator one hour before you put it in the oven. This way, it will have time to achieve room temperature.
The only other thing I did was to remove those silver skin pieces on the under side of the lamb shoulder. Use a small sharp knife to do that.
My shoulder of lamb weighed about 1,7kg/ 3.7 lbs this time. But you really don’t have to be precise here, anything from 1,5 kg/ 3.3 to 2 kg/ 4.4 lbs will do, the cooking time will not change.
For a piece larger than 2 kg/4.4 lbs add a bit of extra roasting time, about 30 minutes for any extra 1kg/ 2 lbs.
Slow cooking meat in the oven is forgiving, more or less grams here and there will not matter much, the meat will be meltingly soft at the end of the cooking process, a real joy to eat.
Start by roasting the lamb shoulder for 15 minutes at a higher temperature – 240 degrees Celsius/ 475degrees Fahrenheit – in the preheated oven, then lower the heat to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue slow cooking the shoulder of lamb for 3 hours.
If, during the last hour of the cooking time, you notice that the skin threatens to get too dark, cover the roast loosely with a piece of aluminum foil. I didn’t have to do that, but it really depends on your oven, I suppose, just check to be on the safe side. Remove the aluminum foil again during the last 10-15 minutes of the cooking time, to allow the skin to become crispy and achieve the desired color.
At the end of the cooking time the skin of the lamb shoulder should be crispy and of a rich golden brown color and the meat should be incredibly tender and juicy.
When ready, transfer the roasted shoulder of lamb to a serving platter and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.
How to serve the slow cooked lamb shoulder
As you can see in the pictures, I served the roasted shoulder of lamb with these amazing and garlicky smashed potatoes and cooked green beans. I often pair roasted lamb with green beans, they are my favorite vegetables when it comes to lamb.
As for potatoes, the smashed potatoes are amazing, but regular roasted potatoes would be perfect as well.
Other vegetable side dishes suitable for this lamb shoulder recipe would be:
- 1,5 kg/ 3.3 to 2 kg/ 4.4 shoulder of lamb, bone in (See note)
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Take the lamb shoulder out of the fridge one hour before you start to cook it. Remove the silver skin pieces on the under side of the lamb shoulder using a small sharp knife.
Preheat the oven to 240 degrees Celsius/ 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the lamb shoulder, skin side up, in a roasting pan. Sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper, rub the spices lightly into the piece of meat and place the roasting dish in the oven. Roast the lamb shoulder at this temperature for 15 minutes.
Lower the heat to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue slow cooking the shoulder of lamb for 3 hours.
If, during the last hour of the cooking time, you notice that the skin threatens to get too dark, cover the roast loosely with a piece of aluminum foil. I didn't have to do that, but it really depends on your oven, so check to be on the safe side. Remove the aluminum foil again during the last 10-15 minutes of the cooking time, to allow the skin to become crispy and achieve the desired color.
Once ready, place the lamb shoulder on a serving platter, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for about 15-20 minutes before carving.
Serve as suggested above.
Note: If your lamb shoulder is larger than that, you should add about 30 minutes for each extra 1 kg/ 2 lbs.