Slow-roast lamb shoulder with rosemary and preserved lemon

Slow-roast lamb shoulder with rosemary and preserved lemon

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

I’m a relative latecomer to the joy that is lamb. It was often hard to get lamb meat in Malaysia, so we ate a lot of goat (also known as mutton in Malaysia). For some reason, I always thought goat and lamb were quite similar, with that strong gamey flavor, and so I tended to avoid them both. Oh, how wrong was I. I’m now a converted lamb lover and simply can’t get enough of it. And funnily enough, I even love eating goat meat! I must be bahhhhhh-ing mad!


Quantity Ingredient
2.5kg lamb shoulder, deboned
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes, plus extra to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 sprig rosemary, leaves finely chopped, plus 4 sprigs rosemary
1 whole preserved lemon, rinsed and dried thoroughly, then thinly sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon plain flour
500ml chicken stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Score the skin of the lamb with a knife, spacing the score marks about 2 cm apart and cutting about halfway through the fat. Rub lots of salt and pepper all over the lamb.
  2. To make the marinade, put the garlic, chopped rosemary, three-quarters of the preserved lemon (save the rest for the gravy) and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a bowl and mix well. Using your hands, rub two-thirds of the mixture all over the lamb until well coated. Place a rosemary sprig on top of the lamb, then truss it with kitchen string to form a log.
  3. Place the remaining 3 rosemary sprigs in the base of a roasting dish, then spread the remaining marinade in the dish. Sit the lamb, skin side up, on top of the rosemary. Cover with 2 layers of foil, making sure it is tightly sealed so that it becomes a steaming chamber when it cooks. Put the dish in the oven and slow-roast the lamb for 4 hours. Remove the lamb from the oven and transfer to a tray, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  4. Meanwhile, strain the juices in the roasting dish through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Spoon off the excess fat, place the pan over medium heat to warm through, then whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and whisk until the flour has dissolved and the gravy has thickened. Add the remaining quarter of preserved lemon to the gravy, stir well and then pour into a serving jug. Cut the lamb into 1.5 cm thick slices and serve the gravy on the side.
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