Making a truly special meal is often done with simple ingredients. This boneless roasted lamb shoulder recipe uses quality but common ingredients. Lamb shoulder roast is tender and juicy, with an herb-flavored crust that makes this dish shine.
A boneless lamb shoulder is no humble cut, in my opinion. Done well and with the right flavors seasoned into it, this becomes your star dish at any festive occasion and part of an elaborate dinner spread. The slow-roasted shoulder turns out tender and juicy, while the herby and aromatic seasoning of herbs like rosemary and thyme, along with garlic, packs flavor.
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I was super excited to see the pinkness of the slices. It came out just as I like it—medium-rare. The roasted lamb has retained its juices and is tender. The outside has a brown crust that is flavored with herbs and garlic, and that bite complements the tender meat underneath.
This is a simple recipe that takes an excellent cut like the shoulder, pairs it with a few simple ingredients, and allows the roasting to do its magic. The result in the end is what you will be proud of and entice delights from guests.
Lamb has a unique flavor, and along with pork, it is a favorite of ours. My kid just loves to eat anything made with lamb. Some recipes are household traditions, like the Mutton Curry (Stove Top & Slow Cooker) and Slow Cooker Lamb Stew which we have been making for decades. I have shared some of my recent lamb recipes, like the Pan-Seared Lamb Chop Recipe, Turkish Lamb Pide, and Stuffed Peppers with Spicy Lamb and Brown Rice.
- Boneless lamb shoulder: invest in a good cut, and you get the best results! Lamb’s shoulder is very tender and easy to cook.
- Potatoes: Our favorite starch absorbs the flavors of the seasoning and the lamb juices and becomes an absolute gorge-worthy side for the lamb.
- Olive oil: adds flavor when used as a marinade and seasoning. It helps the outside develop a beautiful crust.
- Salt and black pepper: are very popular seasonings that permeate the lamb as well as the potatoes and help them absorb the flavors of the marinade and seasoning.
- Herbs: I have used rosemary and thyme in this recipe.
- Minced garlic: A favorite aromatic that adds a savory flavor to the roast.
- Paprika: is added for color and a slight heat.
How to roast lamb shoulder
With such a big cut of the animal and a seemingly complex dish, this is quite easy to make. A big reason behind this is the easy and tender nature of the lamb shoulder. With a boneless cut, it cooks even faster, and all you need to control is the temperature in the middle of the thickest potion.
- Thaw: Frozen lamb needs to be thawed overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
- Marinate: Mix the ingredients for the marinade, i.e., everything other than lamb and potatoes, in a bowl. Save a little salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons of oil for the potatoes. Rub and spread the marinade over the surface and also inside the crevices of the cut. Tie the lamb with a kitchen twig.
- Arrange potatoes: Arrange potatoes on the baking tray. Season them with two teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Keep a trivet on the baking tray atop the potatoes, and place the marinated lamb shoulder on it.
- Roast: Transfer the tray to the oven. Refer to the detailed instructions for temperature in the recipe card. Ideally, you need the temperature at the thickest part to reach 135°F for medium-rare, which I prefer.
- Rest: Resting the lamb after you take it out is very important. Let it rest for 20 minutes, and then transfer it to the serving table to be sliced and served.
Tips to get the best lamb roast
- Choose Quality Lamb: The lamb shoulder is a fatty cut and thus has flavor as well as tenderness. Invest in a well-marbled boneless lamb shoulder for the best results.
- Marinate Adequately: Marinate the lamb for at least one hour or overnight to enhance flavor and tenderness.
- Room Temperature: Allow the lamb to come to room temperature before roasting for even cooking. This ensures all parts of the lamb have the same temperature before they start in the oven.
- Use a meat thermometer. A meat thermometer is indispensable. How the innermost part of the lamb cooks determines the doneness of the lamb. A thermometer gives a visual guide on this. Invest in a good one, but if you have to, any decent one will do.
- Rest Before Slicing: While the lamb rests, it still cooks further for a while. You can see this on the thermometer as the internal temperature increases by another 20°F. This resting period also locks in the juices and keeps the meat tender and juicy.
You can refrigerate or freeze the leftovers. But the roasted lamb shoulder should cool down before you wrap and store it.
- Refrigerate: You can refrigerate this and consume it within 4 days. Wrap the roasted lamb leftovers with foil and shift to an airtight container.
- Freeze: Wrap them properly with double foil and mark the date on it. Freeze it for up to 4 months, but do note that a bit of flavor gets lost with time, and the sooner you consume it, the better it tastes.
- Reheat: Reheat it in the oven by bringing the internal temperature to 130°F.
With such delicious slices of lamb shoulder roast, you can pair them with a variety of side dishes.
- Mashed or baked cauliflower: Baked Cauliflower Au Gratin with its creamy and rich texture, works wonderfully with roasted lamb.
- Roasted veggies: Roasted veggies like Oven Roasted Carrots With Parmesan, Roasted Lemon Pepper Zucchini, and Pecan Honey Roasted Carrot add not just color but a lot of flavor and nutrition to the meal.
- Salads: You can pair a variety of rich, creamy, lemony, or light salads to go with roasted lamb. Pick one of these: Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad, Pesto Pasta Salad, Creamy Carrot Salad, or Apple Kale Salad With Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
More festive main course recipes
Rosemary Garlic Lamb Shoulder
- 2.2- 2.5 kg Boneless Lamb Shoulder
- 1 kg Baby potatoes
- ¼ cup Olive oil
- 1.5 tablespoon Garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 3-4 sprigs Rosemary
- 1.5 teaspoon Thyme
- 3/4-1 teaspoons Salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh crushed black pepper
- Thaw Lamb and bring it to room temperature before you start baking.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees °F.
- Mix olive oil, minced garlic, finely chopped herb, paprika, salt and pepper.
- To distribute the marinade evenly, cut the net and spread the olive oil herb mixture evenly inside the cavity (check video). Tie the lamb again tightly with the kitchen twig. (Ref note 1)
- Spread baby potatoes on a large roasting tray. Season with salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons of oil. Place a trivet at the center and place the seasoned lamb.
- Place the roasting tray at the center rack, make sure the lamb is positioned at the center of the oven.
- Bake for 12 minutes at @425°F, reduce the temperature to 400°F, and bake until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat reaches 130–135°F internal temperature for medium rare. The lamb will cook further while resting and the temperature will reach up to 145°F.
- Once out of the oven, cover the lamb loosely with foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes.
- If you don’t want to go through the hassle of cutting the twig and tying it again, you can go ahead