Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder
It can be very satisfying when a dish is so delicious but doesn’t rely too much on technique, just a good quality piece of meat. With a few easy steps you can create something mouth-watering and versatile with little more than a shoulder of lamb and a paste made from the simple pairing of a subtle spice and citrus. The ‘low and slow’ cooking of the meat allows the marinade to work it’s magic for hours in the oven, and with a little basting here and there the end result is always a success.
The shoulder joint does need time to break down in the oven and the intention is to produce lamb that easily pulls away from the bone. It’s best to cover the lamb with foil for the majority of the cooking time before removing it to allow the meat to get more colour and create some yummy crispy bits on top.
I also throw lemon halves into the roasting tray, which cook up beautifully and you can squeeze some of the syrupy lemon juice over the lamb at the end.
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ a lemon
1½ tbsp ground sumac
1 tbsp olive oil
Ground black pepper
1.3kg lamb shoulder – bone in
Bunch of watercress, roughly chopped
Small bunch of mint, leaves separated
Small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp seeded mustard
1. Take your lamb shoulder out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature;
2. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees;
3. Make the marinade by combining the olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and sumac in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir together;
4. Make a few small incisions into the lamb to allow the marinade to get into the meat as it cooks;
5. Place in a roasting tray and pour over the marinade, making sure the whole shoulder is covered, then add the two lemon halves;
6. Cover the roasting tray with aluminium foil and seal on the sides;
7. Place the lamb in the oven and allow to cook at this temperature for 4.5 hours. Ensure you baste the lamb with the pan juices that drip down every hour;
8. In the last hour, remove the foil, baste again a couple of times and allow the top to colour and crisp up;
9. Remove from the oven after 4.5 hours and allow to rest on a chopping board (covered lightly with foil) for 20 minutes before serving;
10. While the lamb is resting, prepare the salad. Combine the watercress, mint leaves and parsley in a bowl;
11. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, seeded mustard, salt and pepper in a jar and shake to combine, then pour over the salad and toss;
12. Carve or pull apart the lamb as you wish.
Dana Sims is a Sydney-based food and prop stylist who has grown up in the Eastern Suburbs and loves to create delicious food for entertaining and family. She is inspired by the fresh produce we have access to here in Sydney. For ideas, recipes and styling inspiration, check out her Instagram, @stone_and_twine.