Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder

Deliciously tender with the right amount of spice aroma, this slow roast lamb shoulder is a perfect choice for any gatherings with your loved ones. Be it a Sunday roast or any festive celebrations such as Christmas or Easter. And you can make the best lamb gravy out of its roasting juices. 

Slow cooked roast lamb shoulder on a roasting tin.

Deliciously tender with the right amount of spice aroma, this slow roast lamb shoulder is a perfect choice for any gatherings with your loved ones. Be it a Sunday roast or any festive celebrations such as Christmas or Easter. And you can make the best lamb gravy out of its roasting juices. 

Slow roasted lamb shoulder.

Slow roast lamb shoulder without lamby taste

Yes, this slow roast lamb shoulder will not only give you the most appetizingly melt-in-the-mouth roast lamb, but the meat won’t have the lamby taste at all. 

So it is a perfect choice for those who are not keen on the smell of lamb meat though they love the taste of the lamb. 

Because let’s admit that lamb does have a strong smell when you don’t cook it right. It’s rather stronger than beef. Especially when you roast them.

I have tried many roast lamb recipes, but this one I’m sharing here is the winner. Because it succeeded to trick my niece, who always finds the smell of lamb is strong. Therefore she doesn’t really eat lamb. But when she tried this roast lamb for the first time, she thought it was roast beef. 

So if you have someone like her in your family, I urge you to try this recipe. 

Excellent choice for Sunday roast and celebrations

And you will love this slow roast lamb shoulder recipe because it is so easy to make that you’ll be so surprised.

Though I must admit that you may have to prepare the lamb a bit more. But trust me, it’s all for the good you’ll get. Once you’re done with the preparation, you’ll pretty much leave the lamb to cook itself. 

Therefore, this roast lamb is a good alternative for your Sunday roast or any celebrations you have with your friends and family. Because it won’t take much of your attention. 

So you can get on with making other delicious foods to go with the roast.

Secret ingredients for the best tasting roast lamb

It’s the spices you choose that make a difference to the taste of this roast lamb.

Many spices and herbs are allegedly perfect for roasting lamb. But after using numerous combinations of spices or herbs, I finally found the real match for lamb meat.

They are green cardamoms, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, garlic, red chilli flakes, onions, parsley and mint

These 9 spices and herbs successfully take the best flavour out of the lamb without leaving its natural smell. 

Prepare your lamb

I can be a bit fussy in preparing my meat. Whether it’s a red meat or white meat. Because I do find a massive difference in the end result.

So I do the same for this lamb roast.

I suggest you take off unnecessary fats and grizzle. Then rinse the lamb until the water is pretty clear. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.

Grind the green cardamom seeds, nutmeg, black peppercorns, and cloves until they become powder and mix with salt. 

Next, you want to slit your lamb shoulder in a criss-cross about 1-inch apart. And rub the spice mix all over the lamb and between the cuts. 

Then finely chop the garlic and carrots. Mix them with red chilli flakes, dry mint, and dry parsley. Stir well.

Generously cover the lamb and its cuts with the garlic mixture.

Slice the onions into round discs and place them on your roasting tin. Drizzle the olive oil.

Carefully place the prepared lamb onto the bed of onions. 

Up to this point, you can cook your lamb right away or keep it to cook for later.

You can do this preparation the night before you cook and leave the lamb covered with either aluminium foil or saran wrap/ cling film. Then leave it to rest in the refrigerator.

Slow roast lamb shoulder with an overlay text.

How to cook slow roast lamb

There are two ways of slow-roasting this lamb shoulder

  1. Using a slow cooker.
  2. Roasting in an oven

Both are good. 

The difference is that cooking in a slow cooker will give you more moist meat with loads of juices. While roasting it in an oven tends to make the meat dryer, you will have to keep an eye on it.  

So if you decide to do it in a slow cooker, prepare the lamb as mentioned above BUT do it in the slow cooker bowl. 

Then when you’re ready to cook, pour the balsamic vinegar over the meat and throw the cinnamon stick on it. 

If you go for a slow cooker, carefully place the bowl in the cooker, and start cooking at high for about 6 hours. Or, you can set it at night on low for about 12 hours. 

But if you want to roast it in an oven, preheat your oven at gas 7/ 220°C/ 425°F. Then place the roasting tin in the middle rack and cook it without cover for half an hour. Then take it out of the oven. Pour water over the lamb, cover it tightly with aluminium foil and put it back into the oven. Turn down the oven to gas 4/ 180°C/ 350°F and continue cooking for 4 hours. 

Side dishes to go with

There are many options you can serve this slow roast lamb shoulder with. 

My favourites are:

The above combo surely makes a mouthwatering menu for a family roast. Your dinner plate will definitely look generous and delicious. 

What to do with leftover lamb bones

We always end up with big bones from our delicious roast, don’t we? And often, there is much meat left on the bones.

To make the most of them, you can make healthy and tasty bone broth. 

I have a recipe called Yakhni soup which you can easily make using our leftover bones from the roast. You can drink the soup as it is or use it for cooking anything that requires bone broth/ stock. 

Storing matter

If you end up with some leftover roasted lamb and want to keep it for another day, you can freeze it for up to 2 months. Take it out the night before you want to have it and leave it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. 

Once the meat has thawed, you must not refreeze it. 

More lamb recipe ideas

Thank you for checking this slow roast lamb shoulder recipe. Hope you’ll try it. Please share what you think about it in the comments below (leave a reply). I’ll really appreciate it.

And don’t forget to check out my other lamb recipes that you may like.

Last but not least, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest. To sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen. 

Take care and all the best.

Slow cooked roast lamb shoulder on a roasting tin.
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5 from 3 votes

Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder

Deliciously tender with the right amount of spice aroma, this slow roast lamb shoulder is a perfect choice for any gatherings with your loved ones. Be it a Sunday roast or any festive celebrations such as Christmas or Easter. And you can make the best lamb gravy out of its roasting juices. 
Author: Devy Dar
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 minutes
Total Time19 minutes
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 people


  • 1.6-1.8 kg/ 3.5-4 lbs full lamb shoulder.
  • 7 garlic cloves.
  • 2 medium carrots approximately 200 gr/ 0.44 lbs.
  • 2 tsp dry parsley.
  • 1 tsp dry mint.
  • ½ tsp dry red chilli flakes.
  • ¼ nutmeg.
  • 40 green cardamoms.
  • ½ tsp whole cloves.
  • ½ tsp whole black peppercorns.
  • 1-1 ½ tsp Himalayan salt see the note.
  • 3 small red onions.
  • 3- inch cinnamon quill.
  • ¼ balsamic vinegar.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 cup of water.


  • Get your lamb ready by discarding the grizzle and unnecessary fat. Rinse and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Set aside.
  • Finely mince garlic and chop the carrots into small pieces. Mix the garlic, carrots, parsley, mint and chilli flakes in a small bowl. Set aside. 
  • Preheat the oven to gas 7/ 220°C/ 425°F.
  • Take the seeds of green cardamoms out and put them in a spice grinder together with cloves, black peppercorns, and nutmeg. Grind them all until smooth. Then mix the ground spices with salt. Set aside.
  • Peel and slice the onions.
  • Arrange the onion slices on your roasting tin and drizzle the olive oil over them.
  • Make slits across the lamb and rub the ground spices all over the lamb. Ensure you put the spice mix inside the slits and the bone part.
  • Place the lamb on the onion slices, and put the carrots mix on top of the meat. Try to cover all the surfaces as best you can. 
  • Pour the balsamic vinegar all over the lamb and put the cinnamon quill on the top. 
  • Put the roasting tin in the middle of the oven. And cook at a gas 7/ 220°C/ 425°F for 30 minutes or more. Depend on how crispy and brown you want the meat to be. 
  • Take the lamb out and pour water all over the meat. Cover the tin with aluminium foil and put it back in the oven. This time, lower the gas to 4/ 180°C/ 350°F and continue roasting for another 4 hours. 


  • You can always use ready grounded spices. If you do so, half the proportion of each spice in the recipe. As for green cardamom, it should be equal to 1 tablespoon of ground green cardamom. 
  • I almost always use pink Himalayan salt these days. I don’t find the saltiness is much different from table salt. So feel free to add more or less salt according to your taste. 
  • As for chilli flakes, the amount suggested in this recipe is just enough to give the chilli flavour without adding the heat kick. So you’re more than welcome to add more chilli flakes if you prefer. 
  • Unlike some recipes, I don’t use any stock for the roast. Simply because the lamb has intense flavour already. So I don’t find it necessary to mix its flavour with a stock. And by adding the water, we actually make the stock that naturally comes out of the lamb. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 883kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 128g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 406mg | Sodium: 680mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g


Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.


Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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