Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb Recipe

This recipe produces the most succulent, tender and moist lamb with a lovely crispy skin. Although lamb shoulder is quite fatty, the long, slow cooking renders most of the fat down and leaves behind perfectly cooked, beautifully soft, very moreish lamb!

Serves 3 to 4.


  • Half a lamb shoulder, approx 1.4kg
  • 2 tablespoons anchovy paste (optional)
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • Several sticks of rosemary
  • Freshly milled salt & black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 200 C/180 Fan/Gas mark 6

  • Remove the lamb joint from the fridge at least 1 hour before roasting.
  • Begin by drying the shoulder joint with kitchen paper.
  • Cut 2 of the garlic loves into quarters lengthwise and cut 8 small sprigs of rosemary.
  • Place the joint upside down on a roasting tray with a roasting rack. Rub over 1 tablespoon of anchovy paste along with freshly milled salt and black pepper along with a  tablespoon of oil. Turn the joint up the right way and repeat the process on the upper side.
  • Now pierce the joint with the sharp point of a knife and insert a quarter piece of garlic with one of the small sprigs of rosemary. Repeat the process across the top of the joint with the other 7 garlic quarters. 
  • Add the remaining garlic cloves, rosemary and vegetable oil to the roasting pan. Place the roasting tin into the centre of the oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the oven down to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3 and remove the roasting tin. Baste the lamb with the juices and cover the whole tin with foil securing tightly around the edges. Return to the oven and roast for a further 4 hours basting occasionally.
  • Remove the roasting tin from the oven and increase temperature to 220C/ 200 Fan/ Gas mark 7. Remove the foil baste the joint and return to the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crisp.
  • Allow the joint to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes before carving or shredding with a fork.