Well marbled, with varying textures of meat. Shoulder lends itself to slow cooking or pot roasting. The outcome is deliciously sweet, moist meat with a buttery texture.
It is the joint of choice for the pulled lamb of middle eastern cuisines, or shredded lamb as the base of the best shepherd’s pies.
Lamb Shoulder Recipe
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Peppers and Haricot Beans – Feeds 6-8
1 Shoulder of Lamb, boned but not rolled, about 2-2.5 kg
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
½ tsp dried oregano or marjoram
3-4 medium onions
100ml(ish) red wine
2 red and 2 yellow peppers, stems and seeds removed and cut in thin strips
200 g Feta cheese, crumbled
50g grated Parmesan
4-6 more peppers, any colour or a mixture, cored and cut into 2cm strips
3 x 450g cans haricot beans, butter beans, flageolet beans, or chickpeas – or a combination of any beans to your taste
1 x 450g can chopped tomatoes or 6 very ripe fresh tomatoes, chopped into small dice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
½ – 1 tsp sugar if needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Open out the shoulder of lamb meat, skin side down. Season well with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with oregano or marjoram. Sprinkle with olive oil and red wine. Spread the cheeses all over, then the pepper strips. Either roll and tie your joint as neatly as possible, or use a number of metal skewers to hold the edges together.
Peel and quarter 3-4 medium onions and place in a Roasting Pan. Put the joint of shoulder of lamb on top, skin side up, and rub well with olive oil, salt and pepper, and sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram. Place in a pre-heated oven 220°C/Gas 7 for 20 minutes to seal. Pour over about ½ a bottle of red wine (approx 450-500 ml) and cover tightly with a double layer of foil, sealing the edges well. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C/Gas 3 and cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, depending on size of joint. Remove from the oven, and surround the joint with 4-6 more peppers, stems and seeds removed, and cut into inch thick strips. Turn the peppers in the juices, and return to a hotter oven (200°C/Gas 5) for another 45 minutes or so until the peppers are cooked and starting to brown.
Lift the shoulder of lamb onto a serving platter, cover with a double thickness of foil, then top with a couple of tea towels to keep the meat warm while it rests.
Either scoop out all of the peppers and onions into a serving dish to accompany the lamb, and make your gravy out of the remaining juices in the pan (if you do not like beans). Or: Add the 3 cans of beans, the chopped tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, the sugar and further salt and pepper as required to the peppers, onions and juices in the pan. Give them a good stir and put back in the oven for 30 minutes or so to heat through. Serve with thick slices of your lamb, potatoes and green vegetables.