Lamb Shoulder – Set it and forget it!

I love cooking lamb shoulder, because I adore “set-it-and-forget-it” dishes (anyone else remember that infomercial? ) It’s a slow cook, one pot piece of heaven that takes a max of 15 mins to prep, and then you dump it in a low oven for the rest of the day, and pull out and serve, with guests and kids thinking you’re some kind of genius! While I’ve listed everything to pop in here, if you don’t have celery for example, a leek or fennel will do. If you don’t have carrot, it’s not the end of the world. If one of the herbs is missing, that’s fine! This is an outline, and a super forgiving recipe if one or two things are missing – You do have to have lamb for this recipe though 😉

Cost cutting tip: Try cooking this recipe with a couple of lamb necks instead, following all instructions the same way. Super cheap at around 5-6 dollars each, a little fattier, but meat even more tender if you can believe it. You’ll have to peel away the fatty layer to get to the meat once cooked, but it’ll be worth it for a very low cost grass fed meat dinner for 6!

Hope you enjoy your easy lamb shoulder and I’d love if you shared this or pinned it so that others can see how simple a seriously delicious family meal can be – AND that you can use your leftovers for the delicious lamb, lentil and lemon soup. that always gets rave reviews from you guys who’ve tried it!

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Lamb Shoulder Recipe

Servings: 4 people


  • 1 large lamb shoulder or 2 small ones
  • 20 g butter, ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 sticks celery (broken in half)
  • 2 carrots (organic, skin on, chopped into a couple of big chunks each)
  • 1 purple onion (i dig the sweetness in a slow roast situation. Use brown if it’s what you have, still gorgeous.)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves*
  • 2 stems rosemary leaves*
  • 1/4 bunch parsley
  • 4 sprigs thyme * tied roughly together with the thyme sprigs into an easy-to-remove-later bundle
  • 1 tbsp good quality salt (Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan are fab)


  • At lunch time around midday, or early morning is fine too if you want to do it before work.
  • Preheat oven to 140C for midday cooking, or 120C for early morning all-day.
  • Get a cast iron pot big enough to house your lamb shoulder, or a large, deep frying pan. Do not use a non stick pan – besides teflon being a very dubious, toxic surface to cook with, you actually want the meat to stick + get a bit of caramelization to deglaze with for flavour factor!
  • Rub the salt into your lamb shoulder, on both sides.
  • Place pan on medium-high heat and melt butter
  • Just as butter sizzles, place lamb shoulder into pan and brown just a couple of minutes both sides.
  • Just as butter sizzles, place lamb shoulder into pan and brown just a couple of minutes both sides.
  • Once 2nd side of lamb has browned, leaving the lamb in there, pop the water in to deglaze.
  • Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic and herbs to the water around the shoulder.
  • Cover with lid or foil and pop into your low heat oven for 7-12 hours.
  • Fork the lamb onto plates (trust me, it’s that tender!) and top with a couple of spoonfuls of the cooking juices.
  • This is the before and after of your tiny 10 minutes work!


Serving TIP: You can pour off the liquid and use to 'dress' servings when plating up. I LOVE dousing the platter in pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, goat's feta and fresh mint. So, so tasty!
Leftovers TIP: With your left over meat, you can use to put into sandwiches, toasties, wraps, this salad recipe, or to make a fabulous soup with all the leftover juices as your stock base. yum!
No waste TIP: Make a stock with the shoulder bone to then use for a veggie soup. Read my stock post here.

Comments 18

  1. Hi Alexx,

    Talking about BPA in cans of tomatoes – do you know which ones do or don’t contain BPA?


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      Eden organics and GLobal Organics, both available at most health food stores and whole food stores likes About Life and WHolefoods house are both brands whose cans are all BPA free 🙂

  2. Hi Alexx,

    I have just discovered your website & it looks fantastic! I just wanted to check that the lamb shoulder would work fine in a slow cooker too? (I haven’t used my slow cooker much…so am no expert!).


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      Thanks so much Jacki and welcome 🙂 You can absolutely do this in a slow cooker – I’d just make sure it’s not a teflon coated cooker as quite a few are. There are dangers in cooking with teflon so I wouldn’t recommend that if that were the case (check out my Teflon post) If it’s a regular cast iron or stainless cooker, then go for it. Just keep the heat on low and the lid on, exactly as my instructions go in the oven. Enjoy!

  3. Hey Alexx,
    I made this on the weekend with Mutton shoulder and rosemary – just cooked it a bit longer and had a bit more liquid. Super delicious. Best of all leftovers – god i love leftovers x

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  4. Hi Alexx,
    What if you don’t have a cast iron pot or a deep frying pan? I would love to do slow cookers in the oven but am a little confused as to what kind of pot to buy if I was only to buy one.

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  5. Just read our delicious recipe and I will make it asap. Just bought a big shank today. Please allow me one note though: if you put step 6&7 together there is one step less to do and more time to save.

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  6. Hi Alexx, this recipe sounds delicious! I’m thinking of using a slow cooker which has a PTFE/PFOA free ceramic coating (Breville Fast Slow Pro) – is that ok or is it similar to Teflon and should be avoided? I also have a Le Creuset casserole dish I could use? Thanks for your help. Looking forward to trying the recipe! Many thanks, Jemma

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  7. Hi Alexx,
    What would you recommend serving with this beautiful lamb shoulder? I am hosting a winter dinner party and considering what would be impressive without spending too much time in the kitchen.

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