Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Red Wine Sauce

Merry Christmas! It’s been such an amazing year here at Quirky Cooking. The release of our new cookbook Life-Changing Food has given us so much to be grateful for. We’ve travelled all around Australia and met with thousands of people on the whole food journey. The real food movement is growing rapidly and we couldn’t be happier. Seeing people change their diets to eliminate highly refined ingredients, preservatives and additives is wonderful. At this time in our history, one of the biggest issues we face is that of chronic illness caused by poor food education. The ramifications of this issue are huge, and tightly linked to environmental sustainability and preservation. Voices all across the country are louder than ever, calling for a change in the system. While this is slowly gaining momentum towards a true tipping point, we find that grass-roots change – the everyday decisions that we make at home – is the most powerful place to start. This is why Quirky Cooking exists: to support this growing community to make the transition to real, healthy, nutritious food as simple as possible. We anticipate 2018 to bring on greater positive change as the need for healing increases. We look forward to a future where this simple knowledge we share is mainstream, and we thank you for being part of this change. 

And so, in line with our philosophy to make healthy eating easy, we want to help make this Christmas a super easy whole food triumph. The recipe for this slow-cooked lamb shoulder comes from our cookbook, Life-Changing Food. We have also shared some great ideas in our previous post on the various recipes we recommend you make for the holidays. Make sure to check that out, too.

From Life-Changing Food, by Fouad
(photography by Sneh Roy from Cook Republic)

We used to serve a more complicated version of this recipe at my restaurant, Baraka. The incredibly popular dish was made by cooking the lamb in a master stock braise with burnt garlic and onions. At home, I use the recipe below, as it involves very little preparation time. If you don’t own a slow-cooker, I highly recommend getting one. They are cheaper than a good frying pan and very energy efficient. They are also very useful for turning cheaper cuts of meat into brilliantly tender and delicious meals with very little effort. This lamb shoulder recipe is at the heart of many meals at the Kassab household. We turn it into a spiced-rice pilaf on occasions of celebration (see photo below), or eat it with braised cabbage at breakfast for a low-carbohydrate meal. It is also an amazing dish to prepare ahead for a barbecue. I cook it two days before and keep it in the fridge, then on the day, I cook it with the skin side down in a hooded barbeque until the skin crackles. Then I turn it around and take the heat all the way down to warm it all the way through.


Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Red Wine Sauce
Serves 6-8
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  1. 2.2-2.5kg lamb shoulder, preferably bone-in
  2. 1 Tbsp salt, plus extra to taste
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 1 cup light red wine, such as Pinot Noir
  5. 125g butter, cut into cubes
  1. Place lamb in slow cooker along with water and sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours. (Alternatively, if you wish to cook this in an oven, place lamb in roasting tin along with water and salt, cover tin with foil and cook at 110°C for 8-10 hours.)
  2. Carefully remove lamb from cooking juices, making sure to reserve juices for red wine sauce.The lamb should be very tender. (To keep lamb hot before serving, place in a warm oven - 80°C - covered with foil.)
  3. Transfer reserved cooking juices into a glass container. The juice will separate, with fat rising to the surface and stock beneath. Carefully skim the fat from the top and transfer it to another bowl.
  4. Add 3 cups of stock and the red wine to a medium frying pan or saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until it reduces and becomes a thick, rich sauce.
  5. Remove saucepan from the heat and add the butter, one cube at a time, incorporating using a whisk until glossy and velvety. Add salt to taste, reheat, and serve with lamb.
  1. If you prefer, you can omit the red wine sauce and keep the stock and fat for other cooking. Once cooked, sieve the juices into a bowl and leave to cool then refrigerate. The fat will rise to the top and solidify. You will then be able to separate the fat from the stock and use both in your cooking. We freeze excess fat and stock in our home and add directly into dishes that require either.
  2. We also love turning this lamb shoulder into an opulent pilaf. Cook the rice with Lebanese seven spices, butter, lemon juice and lamb stock. Pull the lamb and toss it through the rice. Serve on a large platter with a sauce made with tahini and lemon juice, then sprinkle with toasted nuts (see photo below).
Quirky Cooking

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder can be used in a variety of ways, from adding it warm to salads to this beautiful spiced rice pilaf!


16 thoughts on “Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Red Wine Sauce

  1. Aria says:

    hese look great! Will definitely be adding this to my ‘must try’ recipe list!Thanks for the recipe. Merry Christmas!!!!

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  3. Natalie says:

    Could you omit the butter from the recipe to make it dairy free? Or substitute it for something else to get a good sauce?

    • Quirky Cooking Team says:

      Hi, yes you can try omitting the butter and the sauce should taste beautiful and rich anyways:-).

  4. Megan says:

    Hi Jo great recipe! I just came across this. I have a beef round roast ready for cooking. About the same size. Do you think I can achieve the same results with beef? If so, any suggestions? I also have the thermomix beef stock paste- I love it! Maybe can I add some to the slow cooker with the beef? Thanks for your help 🙂

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Megan, thanks for your question. 🙂 You most certainly can slow cook your beef round roast (really any roast works) however you may want to reduce the cooking time as you don’t want to end up with dry meat. Lamb shoulder is fatty and also on the bone so it tends to retain moisture and becomes very tender yet still juicy. The beef stock would work – just use it in place of the salt. xx

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  6. Noelene says:

    Jo, I want to make this on the weekend. What do you recommend serving it with. I bought Life Changing Foods for my friends birthday present. She almost git a bunch of flowers instead as I wanted to keep it. Lovely book and recipes. Thankyou both

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Noelene! 🙂 This lamb is so delicious!! It goes perfectly with lots of other recipes from the Life Changing Food book – Red Cabbage Salad, Roast Vegetable Salad, Hazelnut Tabouli, Pumpkin with Pesto, Runner Bean and Garlic Braise, Cauliflower and Leek Mash… Hope you can borrow your friends book or have a copy of your own by now, haha! Let us know what you make…we’d love to hear back from you and see some pics! xx

  7. Noelene l says:

    Thanks Jo. Yes, I was lucky enough to borrow the book back. Made the lamb(simply amazing) and served with red cabbage salad and baked veg salad with tzadsiki dressing for the lamb and a tahini dressing for the salad .Sorry about the pics. Demolished. Will definitely make again and will include pics

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Oh yay Noelene!! That’s fantastic. All sounds incredibly delicious – so glad your meal was a success! 🙂 xx PS – can’t wait for the pics! 😉

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Kat! 🙂 You could give it a try but it might take quite a while to reduce down and you would need to keep an eye on it. You could try cooking with the MC off and the simmering basket on the lid to prevent spattering.

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