Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder: An Easter Recipe

tumblr_kzetr8QYaF1qav747o9_1280-300x199If you are entertaining this Easter, you’ll want a dish that can wow your guests that doesn’t require a lot of work once they arrive. That’s why I’m always a fan of slow-roasted meats since all the work is done in the oven while you take care of other things (or in my case sleep since I am a fan of roasting overnight)! And there’s nothing quite like Spring Lamb for Easter Sunday. It’s special, delicious, and super easy. While cuts like rack of lamb can be rather expensive, lamb shoulder is an underutilized and tender cut that is delicious, mild, and half the price of fancy cuts. Just ask your butcher for a bone-in lamb shoulder, and it’s a good idea to order about 1/2 lb per person, but I always like to get a little extra so I can make lamb sandwiches the rest of the week! The recipe below is for a 5-lb lamb shoulder, but adjust accordingly. This is simply a guideline and does not need to be followed with exactness.


Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder

  • 1 lamb shoulder (5 lbs – bone-in)
  • 2 heads roasted garlic, cloves squeezed out
  • 2 small/medium onions, sliced
  • 4-5 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 bottle white wine
  • salt & pepper
  • lemon juice (for gravy)

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees Farenheit. Rub the lamb shoulder with the roasted garlic, and liberally salt and pepper the shoulder on all sides. Place in a roasting pan or dutch oven, and cover with onion slices and sprigs of rosemary.  Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil and pour wine in the bottom of the pan.  Cover with a lid or foil, and place in the oven for 8 hours or overnight.  Once a knife can be easily inserted into the lamb and it’s tender enough to pull apart, allow the lamb to cool slightly and move to a platter so you can pull it apart.  It will have the consistency of pulled pork.


Meanwhile, discard the rosemary and pour the juices & onions into a measuring cup or fat separator. Allow the juices to cool so you can skim the fat.  At this point you can either blend the juices and onions for a smooth gravy, or you can leave the onions slices intact for a more rustic dish.  Re-heat when ready to serve. Taste your gravy to see if it needs additional salt & pepper. A squeeze of lemon juice is sometimes nice to add brightness.  Taste as you go and make it your own!


All of this can be done ahead of time, even the day before!  Just a note, when reheating the meat, make sure to heat it at 225 slowly again, so as not to dry it out.  The lamb & gravy is delicious served over mashed potatoes or pureed parsnips!