Roasted Lamb Shoulder Recipe


Too many people tend to stay away from lamb because of its strong taste. I think that’s a mistake. If marinated properly, lamb is so flavorful, tender and juicy without being overpowering. The key is to use lots and lots of garlic, and my go-to meat tenderizer, green papaya (I can’t be thankful enough for Lulu’s late grandma’s secret).

This particular recipe calls for a large chunk of lamb shoulder. To ensure that the meat doesn’t burn at the bottom of the cocotte ("Dutch oven" in French) while roasting, I place carrots and par-boiled potatoes underneath so they catch all the delicious flavors from the roasted meat. Just thinking about it makes me drool!

1. Info for Roasted Lamb Shoulder Recipe

  • Cook Time: unavailable
  • Total Time: unavailable
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: unavailable

2. Ingredients for Roasted Lamb Shoulder Recipe

  • 2-½ pounds lamb shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons papaya paste (see tips)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced and puréed
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-½ pounds red potatoes
  • 2 carrots, sliced 1″-thick
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 cups curly parsley, tightly packed and chopped

3. Directions:

  1. Parboiling the potatoes (see tips): Brush and wash the potatoes. Place them whole in a large pot (no need to peel them). Fill it with cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. It’s important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a full boil, they might fall apart). As soon as the water reaches a boil, cook for about 10-11 minutes. Test, using a fork; the potatoes should be slightly tender but still firm. Remove from the pot. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and let them cool a little (do not rinse and let the liquid evaporate). Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried thoroughly, remove the skin. Cut them in half or quarters, depending on their size.
  2. For the lamb marinade: In a large bowl, combine the butter, papaya paste, cayenne pepper, honey, puréed garlic, mustard, 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir well. Create small incisions all over the meat, fill them with the marinade and cover the meat with the remaining marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 10 hours or overnight (2 days are even better!).
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  4. Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes ahead of time to bring it back to room temperature before cooking.
  5. In a Dutch oven, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until it’s really hot. Add the leek and cook until fragrant. Add the potatoes and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.Transfer to a plate.
  6. Cover the bottom of the Dutch oven with rosemary and add the halved garlic cloves. Return the potatoes, leeks and carrots. Place the marinated lamb shoulder on top. Season with a little salt.
  7. Immediately place into the pre-heated oven and roast until a digital oven-proof thermometer placed in the center of the meat reads 145°F (see tips; it took 65 minutes for this piece), depending on how pink you like your meat. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the lamb to a large platter. Cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Let the meat rest for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing (I didn’t re-heat the meat as I also like eating it at room temperature). That way the meat stays very juicy and tender.
  8. Assembly time: Slice the lamb into 3/4" thick pieces, fanning the slices for a nice presentation; serve immediately with the roasted potatoes.
  9. Garnish with parsley.
  10. Bon appétit!

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