slow roasted lamb shoulder on flatbreads with minty yoghurt sauce

Many years ago I used to be nervous of cooking large hunks of meat, always a bit panicky that I wouldn’t get the timing right and eat up with a tough result –ย  until I discovered the miracle of slow cooking. These days if I have 8 or more people coming for dinner I confess I usually go straight to slow cooked lamb or pork in the knowledge that it will be almost impossible to stuff up. Often for this type of cooking I will choose lamb or pork shoulder (although lamb leg is also great, and ahem, pork belly??!)ย – the extra fat running through the meat ensures it stays meltingly tender and moist, and tah dah – everybody’s happy! It is super simple to make, so easy that I have often cooked this in the barbecue at Waiheke, wrapping the flatbreads in tinfoil and popping them on top of the barbecue lid to heat up. The minty yoghurt sauce and onion jam work particularly well with the lamb, but you could also use a good tomato chutney or a good dollop of chilli jam. This is one I wrote up and shot for Fairfax, and the perfect way to feed a crowd (like at Waiheke) but it can easily be made to serve 4…and then you’ll have plenty of left-overs for lamb curry too! Hope you like it ๐Ÿ™‚


large lamb shoulders or whole legs of lamb, bone in
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
3 cups red wine or vegeatble stock
1/2 a large telegraph cucumber
2 cups plain, natural yogurt
3/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
5 cups salad greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion jam (bought or homemade) or tomato chutney
20 flat breads
1 cup fresh mint leaves or coriander to serve

At least half an hour before you start, take your lamb out of the fridge. Set the oven temperature to 160หšC. Rub ground cumin into the flesh (not fat) ofย  the lamb legs or shoulders and place in the roasting dish. Squeeze over half of the lemon juice, season really well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle over the cumin seeds. Pour the wine or stock around the base of the lamb and cover the roasting tin with tinfoil. Pop into the oven and forget about it for four hours. At this point remove the tinfoil, increase the oven temperature to 170หš and roast a further hour. Remove from the oven and leave to rest while you heat flat breads, either by wrapping in tinfoil and putting in the oven for 10 minutes or by microwaving wrapped in paper towels. Halve cucumber lengthwise and use the tip of a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds. Grate, then mix with yoghurt, lemon zest, mint and garlic. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat flatbreads in the oven or microwave and serve with lamb, onion jam or tomato chutney, salad greens tossed in olive oil and the remaining lemon juice, mint or coriander and the minty yoghurt sauce. Serves 10


  1. I love the idea of cooking two dishes with the same cut of meat. Both dishes sound (and look) amazing with plenty of flavour. And your photos are gorgeous. Every one of them!

  2. Oh wow! Lamb, yogurt, cucumber, onion jam. . . my mouth is already watering thinking about this tasty dinner. Agree. . .this is a dish that will easily put smiles on a crowd's face, including my own.

  3. Made this meal last night for three hungry boys – it went down a treat! JH

  4. cooked it for a dinner party, a huge success! Just wonderful! My first lamb shoulder and it was perfect.
    Thank you so much.

  5. Hi there, going to be cooking this later! What kind of wine would you recommend? And could you use half wine, half stock?


  6. Hello there, I'm looking forward to making this with lamb steaks for dinner this evening… I will reduce the cooking time and hope for the best! I'm low fodmap (sigh) so will use gluten free flour for flatbreads, lacto free yoghurt, and replace red onions with the green part of the spring onion (I know, I know… the low fodmap diet is enough to test anyone's culinary skills – and sanity, but if you find the right recipes, such as yours and they can be tweaked to satisfy one's cravings). Thanks for the inspiration. I think I need to write a low fodmap recipe book, but I'll finish the writing the PhD first! And that reminds me; off the internet and back to the thesis. Rebecca

    1. Hi – thanks so much for your message – how did you get on…did you do a quick cook with the lamb steaks? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I found your blog last night and was so inspired to make this dish, I went out and bought lamb this morning.

    Delicious, we had this with a tomato salad, it was perfect. Thank you for the recipe.

  8. hi, I'm looking to do this this Friday for a dinner party for 10. what side salads would you suggest? also have a few non meat eaters coming, can you recommend a fish option – a kebab maybe?

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