Slow-Roasting lamb shoulder on the bone rewards you with the most deliciously succulent meat. Just be patient and make sure the lamb is meltingly tender before serving, if you can still feel tension in the meat, then it just needs a little longer in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 160˚C fan-forced or 180˚C conventional.
Place the onion in the base of a heavy ovenproof dish.
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the cumin and peppercorns. Add the garlic and salt and grind to a paste. Add a good splash of oil and mix until a loose paste.
Smother the paste all over the lamb, rubbing between the cut bones as well. Place the lamb on top of the onions and scatter with the thyme leaves. Add the pear halves to the dish and sprinkle with the sugar and vinegar. Pour around 80 ml of water into the dish and cover with a double layer of foil. Roast for four hours, then remove the foil and skim some of the fat from the liquid in the dish. Raise the temperature to 180˚C fan-forced, baste the lamb and cook for another 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with braised silverbeet and couscous.