Slow roast half shoulder of lamb – Indian style

I adapted my recipe from this recipe which I’ve used before.

For an Indian style HALF shoulder, the spice mix I used was

1 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp (garlic) salt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cloves, ground
1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
1 & 1/2 tsp turmeric
fresh garlic and ginger, chopped finely
Enough groundnut oil to moisten the mix for it to adhere to the meat (not required if using garlic and ginger paste as it contains groundnut oil)
Yoghurt (optional)

I used 1.5 times the above for a whole shoulder and it was fine to cover the top and flavour it. In fact twice the marinade is too much and FAR too salty.

Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray (for a half shoulder I used a small oven). Stab the skin-side of the shoulder all over. Rub a thin layer of spice mix on all the other sides, then use the remainder to form a thick layer on the skin side (which will be on top), rubbing well into the scores. Cover with foil and bake for 3 hours, removing the foil for the last hour. The aroma of spices while it cooks is heavenly. Lots of the lamb fat should melt out. Rest under foil for 15 mins before serving.

For a whole shoulder 3 hours at 150C works well.

An excellent addition is thinly sliced aubergine coated in a little yoghurt placed under the shoulder. I cooked a whole shoulder with 1 sliced aubergine under it, making sure the slices stayed underneath the lamb otherwise they are prone to burn. You could get 2 sliced aubergines under though; 1 aubergine goes to nothing as thye lose so much water. I guess sliced potatoes would work as well.

This is quite rich, so serve with some lemon wedges and plain yoghurt to cut through the fattiness. As it is dry, serve with veggie Indian side dishes with a bit of moisture e.g lentils or green beans cooked with tomatoes. Plain rice or perhaps chapattis are good carb options.

7 Jan 2013
125C is too low to melt the fat out. Also the shoulder needs to start out at room temperature to cook in 3 hours. Found this out the hard way when we had Mark’s family round for dinner last night. We couldn’t eat the lamb because there was still too much fat in it. A bitter disappointment, especially after all the effort that had gone into making the other dishes.

29 Jan 2013
Tried a slightly different recipe tonight: Anjum Anand’s honey-roasted lamb. It turned out wonderfully tender and juicy with a flavoursome crust.

I adapted it for my half shoulder of lamb in the following ways:
– I didn’t bother to marinade beforehand. The meat was still very good though and serving the crust with the meat was more than satisfactory
– I used ground almonds instead of flaked (?)
– I cut the amounts of lemon juice and honey by about half
– I cooked for 3 hours at 150C with the shoulder starting at room temperature, then rested before serving. I cooked it uncovered for half an hour to let the almond crust colour a litte, then covered with foil for the rest of the cooking time, basting with the rendered fat after 2 hours of cooking.

Notes for next time:
– The half shoulder was from Sainsbury’s. The meat was quite dark red to start with and turned out better than the pinker half shoulders I have bought in the past from Waitrose. So it seems that even for these cheaper cuts it’s worth buying quality.
– After 3 hours the meat was very tender but there was still a thick layer of fat on top which prevented the marinade flavouring the meat. Next time I’d like to try removing at least some of that fat before cooking.
– The garlic and ginger paste sill tastes a bit raw in the finished dish. Might be worth frying it off, even just a little, before mixing into the marinade.

25 Jan 2018

– 3 1/2 hours at 160C for a whole shoulder from Sainsburys trimmed of fat worked well.
– Don’t bother to marinade the bottom of the meat (which is in contact with the baking tray) because it just burns and the flavour doesn’t get into the meat. If it is possible to horizontally section up the meat and put a layer of marinade in that would probably work better.

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