Slow-roasted lamb shoulder with pears & cumin

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.


2 brown onions, skin on and sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons salt flakes
extra virgin olive oil
1 lamb shoulder (bone in), semi-cut into portions (ask your butcher to do this) and fat scored
7 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped
4 beurre bosc pears, skin on and cut in half
3 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


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.

Comments & Reviews5

meccy29's picture
Aug 11, 2014

Hi, Is it possible to adapt this recipe to a slow cooker?

Emma S's picture
Emma S
Aug 11, 2014

This looks great! My butcher has a range of lamb shoulders available (by the kilo) – roughly how big a shoulder should it be, for the cooking time? 1 kg? 2.5 kg?

mumontherun's picture
Aug 16, 2014

Oooh looks gorgeous! Might have to give this one a whirl :) Emma S, to feed 4-6 as a main, and judging by the cooking time, this recipe would suit a piece approximately 2.2 to 2.5kg.

Linda Hill's picture
Linda Hill
Aug 17, 2014

Thanks Karen for this great recipe. I made it last night for 7 adults using a forequarter. Practically took up my whole roasting dish. Enough room to tuck the pears in though, which to my surprise, retained their shape and were delicious. I also served roast pumpkin. I would like to make this again, however do you have a suggestion for different sides for a twist. Thank you Linda. PS My butcher kindly cut to the bone and scored the lamb like you suggested, but I would love a video on how to dismantle it and present it once it is cooked.

Linda Hill's picture
Linda Hill
Aug 19, 2014

Karen can you please tell me what it that white square looking thing is on the right side of the lamb. I must know.

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