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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 '14 at 14:14
  • 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 '14 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 '14 at 14:28
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    Hi Assad, I deleted the last question in your question, because that is 100% off topic here. – Mien Mar 27 '14 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 '14 at 1:20
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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 '14 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 '14 at 13:03

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