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Inspired by Spanish share plates on long, sleepy afternoons, this lamb will make your Rioja sing. Just remember, this needs a long time to cook to perfection.



1x 2.5kg lamb shoulder, bone in


2 garlic cloves, crushed
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons salt flakes, plus extra

Lemon for serving

At least 2 bottles of red wine for drinking

Onion Jam

2 red onions, finely sliced
1 pinch of salt flakes
juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground sumac
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves


Have you opened the red wine yet? Do it. Have a glass.

Combine the garlic, lemon zest, oregano, olive oil and salt in a small bowl.

Place the lamb shoulder in a baking tray and rub the marinade all it. Cover and set aside for at least three hours. If you can marinate it overnight, even better.

Preheat the oven to 150°C fan–forced (170°C conventional).

Add 250ml of water to the tray that the marinated lamb is in. Cover the tray now lightly with foil and get it in the oven for 2 hours. Turn the temperature down to 110°C fan–forced (130°C conventional) and cook for another 6 hours, adding a little more water to the tray from time to time if necessary. Remove the foil for the last hour of roasting to crisp up the outside.

For the onion jam, add the onion to a medium bowl and make sure it is in pieces. Add a salt and set aside for about 1 hour so that the onion softens.

Drain the softened onion and put it in a medium bowl. Mix in the lemon juice, oil, sumac and parsley.

The lamb is ready when you can easily pull the meat from the bone with a fork. Get the lamb on a serving platter. Pour the juices from the tray into a small jug and skim off most of the fat. Shred the meat from the bone at the table and serve with the roasting juices, marinated onion, lemon wedges and extra salt on the side.

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