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Indian Roast Shoulder of Lamb

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This roast lamb shoulder can also be done with leg of lamb.

Indian food recipes - shoulder of lamb

Indian influenced 10 hour shoulder of lamb

This recipe brought back memories of growing up for me. Ten hour slow roasted lamb was a family favourite though my parents cooked it with Italian spices. The meat is so tender.

The version in our family cookbook calls for leg of lamb but I decided to use the shoulder. Shoulder is cheaper and personally I think it tastes equally as good cooked in this way.

Whether you use leg or shoulder, I hope you try this one. It’s more the long cooking time that I want to promote here than anything else. If you like Italian food, try the technique with oregano, rosemary, garlic and thyme with a splash of wine.

If you’d like to do your own French interpretation, use lots of onions, whole shallots, garlic and again wine.

In this rather Indian style dish, I used many of the spices I use in my traditional lamb rogan josh recipe though I did decide to add a nice dry white wine which doesn’t feature in most Indian dishes.

You could of course just use a nice lamb, vegetable or chicken stock instead.

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Yield: 6

10 Hour Spicy Roast Lamb Shoulder

10 Hour Spicy Roast Lamb Shoulder
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 bone in or out shoulder of lamb
  • 2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 3 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) green chilli paste
  • 1 one inch stick of cinnamon or cassia
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons rose water
  • 500ml dry white wine
  • 2 large onions - very finely chopped
  • 4 carrots - roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (250ml) plain flour


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 150c.
  2. Bring the shoulder of lamb to room temperature.
  3. Rub a little of the oil over it and then press the crushed pepper and salt into the flesh.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan with a lid.
  5. When the oil is good and hot but not smoking, brown the lamb joint all over.
  6. Now add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, coriander powder and red chilli powder.
  7. Move the spices around for 30 seconds being very careful not to let them burn.
  8. Pour in the chopped onions and carrots followed by the garlic, ginger and green chilli pastes.
  9. Now add the white wine and and rose water and bring to a rolling simmer.
  10. Make a dough with the flour and a little water. You won't be eating this so it doesn't need to look pretty.
  11. Place the lid on the saucepan and then roll the dough out into a long rope shape.
  12. Use this to seal the lid so that no air can escape when cooking. Believe me, this is an important step and adds so much to the final dish.
  13. Place in the oven for ten hours.
  14. When ready to serve, remove the lid at the table. The aroma will be amazing.
  15. Serve with rice or roast potatoes.

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Monday 29th of January 2018

What temperature is needed for a fan oven?

Dan Toombs

Monday 5th of February 2018

Hi Paula

You are cooking for so long with this one, it doesn't make a lot of difference. I have a fan oven and set it for 150c. Sometimes I use the normal oven at the same temp. Both work fine.

Thanks, Dan

Rehana Akhtar

Friday 22nd of December 2017

Can I substitute white wine for something else? Due to religious reasons I can't use it.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 9th of January 2018

Hi Rehana

I'm sure that won't be a problem. Use water, meat or vegetable stock instead. It should still come out fine.

Thanks, Dan


Friday 25th of December 2015

The only step that didn't work for me was trying to brown the joint after pressing in the ground pepper. I got thick smoke that burned my eyes and lungs, set off the smoke alarms and set the dogs barking at 12.15 Christmas morning. I'd created some kind of pepper bomb! Even having failed at this I still had a good dark rich colour to the joint after the 10 hours. and the meat is really tender. As you say, the recipe is adaptable to your own flavours and really simple to prepare. Thanks!

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 29th of December 2015

The amount of times I've set off my fire alarm are too many to count. LOL. Thanks Mala. Really glad you liked it in the end.



Wednesday 18th of March 2015

This looks really good - thinking of trying it. Regarding the charred look, could you roast it open on a tray first at high heat for a bit and then transfer it to the casserole? Or does it really come out like that if you just seal it in and leave it for ten hours? Thanks for sharing. Simon


Wednesday 21st of December 2016

I am trying this tomorrow. Alarm set for 5am so I can get the whole shoulder - bone in, from the fridge, lamb I fatenned myself so I know it's superb., Im curious to know how the lamb will caramalise so much as in the picture at 150 degs C but will find out tomorrow night at 5pm. Mine has been marinating for 3 days. I will serve it with Bombay potatoes,, basmatti rice and garlic naan breads cooked in my tandoor.

Dan Toombs

Monday 13th of April 2015

Hi Simon

The photo you see is exactly as I cooked it. You could roast it first though. I'll try that next time. :-)



Monday 23rd of September 2013

Hi Dan,

Just wanted to say that I tried this over the weekend, and it was magnificent! Really sensational.

The rose water gives it a beautifully fragrant, unique flavour. Will definitely be doing this again!

A couple of things whilst I'm here:

1) you recommend green chilli paste - is this a particular shop bought product? If so, more details would be helpful. I looked but couldn't find anything similar in two supermarkets, so instead resorted to blitzing some green chillies along with garlic, ginger, olive oil and a dash of water to make my own 'pastes'. Seemed to work but wonder if it could have been improved by this mystery item! 2) I cooked mine in the slow cooker. At the end of the cooking time it still looked a little too wet and sans the charred look your photo shows. I therefore tried finishing it in the oven uncovered at top temperature for 20 mins or so, and this did the trick. I think maybe you should amend the recipe to mention this as I can't believe the one in the pic was produced solely by a long slow cook, and this to me was a vital element to the overall taste!

Keep up the good work and terrific recipes.




Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Hi just came across this post and read that you cooked it in the slow cooker. I wnat to do a leg of lamb this way in the slow cooker. Can you help me with the timings. Thanx

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 1st of October 2013

Hi Anthony

Thanks for that. You got it right. I just blitz fresh green chillies with a little water.

As for the slow cooker, I've never tried one. Think I might need to purchase one and give your method a go.

Thank you. Dan

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