I'd like to cook my mother a nice lamb shoulder roast (cooked in the oven), I've cooked lamb before but always with mixed results. I want Lamb that's juicy, tender, flavourful and falls off the bone. How do I achieve this?

My questions:

  1. What temperature should I cook it at?
  2. How long should I cook it for?
  3. How do I make sure the shoulder retains it's moisture and doesn't become dry? I hear a lot about low and slow, would this help me achieve my goals?
  4. Do I tent the lamb in foil at the beginning, middle, end? Or at all?
  5. Do I have to put any liquid in the roasting pan along with the lamb so it doesn't dry out? Any other suggestions would be welcome. Thanks!
  • This is an elaborate recipe request, and recipe requests are off topic.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 27, 2014 at 14:14
  • 1
    Not at all, you can scrub the marinade bit off if that's the case. The main thing I want to know is how I can get the meat to be really tender.
    – seeker
    Mar 27, 2014 at 14:25
  • See related for example (and shoulder is the lamb analog of chuck roast for cows): cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/33022/… and cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/36854/…
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 27, 2014 at 14:28
  • 1
    Hi Assad, I deleted the last question in your question, because that is 100% off topic here.
    – Mien
    Mar 27, 2014 at 15:56
  • Off topic, but I'm really starting to despise the phrase "falls off the bone". It's so ridiculously cliché. Anyway, every single question we have on cooking tender meat is exactly the same - don't overcook it, don't dry it out.
    – Aaronut
    Mar 28, 2014 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


Brown the lamb on the stove top, or high temp oven. Then, braise rather than roasting. That means 2/3-3/4 of the pan is filled with liquid after you put the lamb in first. For flavorful liquids, consider beef, chicken or veg stock. In Malaysia I see a lot of grape juice substitutions for wine in traditional Italian recipes that call for braising. But I would dilute it, so it's not overly sweet. Perhaps some tomato juice would work as well.

  • Nice suggestion with the browning before putting in the oven
    – seeker
    Aug 7, 2014 at 17:43
  • It adds nice umami flavor. Especially good if you're omitting the wine as found in a lot of recipes.
    – Loki
    Aug 8, 2014 at 13:03

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