Perfect Lamb Shoulder

lamb shoulder
This recipe is a dinner party DREAM. Deceptively easy, barely any wash-up and easy to prepare in advance. Just you, your guests and your glass of wine! The lamb shoulder is cooked low and slow in an oregano, olive oil and lemon juice marinade. It's zero fuss and the result is fall-apart, perfectly cooked lamb on a bed or caramelised onion and garlic. I've served with flat breads, tzatziki and Greek salad.


  • 1.5-1.8kg lamb shoulder, bone in (see note 1)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 6 small brown onions, peeled and quartered (or 3 large)
  • 1 garlic bulb, skin on, cut in half horizontally
  • Flatbreads or tortillas to serve
  • Tzatziki to serve

Greek salad

  • 4 tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 cucumbers, finely diced
  • 1 red capsicum, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
    2. Marinate the lamb shoulder with the salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. Use your hands to ensure the lamb is evenly coated in the marinade.
    3. Place the onion and garlic in a lidded roasting dish, rest the lamb on top and add 1.5 cups of water. Cover with the lid (or if using a regular roasting dish, cover tightly with a double layer of tin foil) and roast for 4 hours.
    4. You should be able to pull the lamb apart easily with a fork when it is done, if not, cover it and return it to the oven until it is tender.
    5. Remove the lamb from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
    6. For the greek salad, combine the tomato, cucumber, capsicum, vinegar and olive oil and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle with the crumbled feta and oregano.
    7. Serve the lamb with Greek salad salsa, flatbreads (or tortillas if using) and tzatziki.

    Make ahead instructions: Marinate and refrigerate the lamb up to 48 hours prior to cooking. I like to have the onions and garlic cut up so that on the day of cooking all I need to do is place the ingredients in the baking dish. The Greek salad can be prepared in advance too. Cut the vegetables (and refrigerate up until 48 hours prior to serving) but store the dressing separately. Toss the dressing with the prepared vegetables before serving.

    Can cooked lamb be frozen? Yes! Shred the cooked lamb and freeze in an air-tight container or reusable sandwich bag. Freeze in small portions and thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat on the stove top or in the microwave or oven. Lamb shoulder is versatile, use it on top of a pizza or in a curry or stew!

    Note 1: Boneless lamb shoulder can be used, but reduce the cooking time to 3 hours and 30 minutes. If the lamb is not tender enough to pull apart with two forks, return it to the oven until it is.

    This recipe was inspired by Adam’s Liaw’s Lamb Shoulder recipe which you will be able to find here.

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Nicole Simple Home Edit Bio

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I’m Nic, wife and Mum to two little people. I’m based in Sydney, Australia. I created Simple Home Edit to inspire others to buy with intention, eat well with simple ingredients, own less and live more.

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