Lamb shoulder with Middle Eastern spices

Lamb shoulder with Middle Eastern spices

Taste of Australia
10 mins
Cooking time
130 mins
Stuart Scott

There is nothing more Australian than roast lamb, but we are also fast adopters of new flavours.


Quantity Ingredient
1 lamb shoulder on the bone
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 brown onions
2 garlic bulbs, halved crossways
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
Pumpkin purée, to serve
Roasted finger eggplant with spiced tahini drizzle, to serve


  1. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Combine the salt, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper and rub over both sides of the lamb.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and brown the lamb, skin side down, for 5 minutes or until golden. Turn and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Peel the onions and slice into 5 mm rounds, being careful not to separate the slices into rings. Place the rounds in the base of a large baking dish, top with the lamb, skin side up, and put the garlic beside it. Drizzle the pomegranate molasses over the lamb. Pour 250 ml water around the lamb. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 1 hour.
  5. Uncover, reduce the heat to 180°C and roast for an additional hour or until the meat is very tender. Remove from the oven and rest, covered with foil, for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, remove any excess fat from the juices and onions in the baking dish (either with a fat/lean (gravy separator) pitcher or by scooping it off the top). Place the baking dish over medium heat and boil to reduce a little.
  7. Carve the lamb and serve each person with a half bulb of garlic so they can scoop out its tender flesh. Serve with the onion sauce.


  • The tartness from the pomegranate cuts through the richness of the lamb, so this dish is best with a shiraz – or try a spicy merlot.

Lyndey’s note

  • Pomegranate molasses is a thick reduction of pomegranate juice, made by boiling the liquid to a syrup. The flavour is sweetly tart and brings astringency and sourness to dishes in a similar way to lemon juice or tamarind. Substitute caramelised balsamic with a squeeze of lemon juice.
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