Traditional Lamb Shoulder Roast

Traditional Lamb Shoulder Roast

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
931 Calories
28g Fat
108g Carbs
63g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 931
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 163mg 54%
Sodium 1580mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 108g 39%
Dietary Fiber 13g 48%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 63g
Vitamin C 58mg 290%
Calcium 159mg 12%
Iron 10mg 55%
Potassium 3363mg 72%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

It's no secret that Australians and New Zealanders love lamb. They eat it by the rack, in a stew, and as biryani (an Indian meat and rice dish). But perhaps one of their favorite ways to prepare this tender meat is to roast it. This recipe is very easy, and once you taste its marvelous flavor, you'll likely want to put this into your regular meal rotation, perhaps with some mint sauce on the side, as Australians often do.

The two most common lamb roast cuts are the leg and the shoulder. The shoulder, which is used in this recipe, has more fat than the leg, and therefore requires slower cooking. If you have chosen to use a leg instead of shoulder, simply cook it for 20, 25, or 30 minutes per pound depending on whether you want rare, medium, or well-done meat.


  • 8 white potatoes

  • 2 large sweet potatoes

  • 2 white onions

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (divided)

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (divided)

  • 2 1/4 pounds lamb shoulder

  • 6 cloves garlic (cut into slivers)

  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • Optional garnish:

    mint sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Traditional Lamb Shoulder Roast ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Heat the oven to 350 F. Cut the white and sweet potatoes into 1-inch-thick slices.

    white and sweet potatoes cut into 1-inch-thick slices

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Cut the onions in half and then place all of the vegetables in a roasting pan in one even layer.

    white potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions in a roasting pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Drizzle the vegetables with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

    oil drizzled over the onions and potatoes in the roasting pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and toss to combine.

    onions and potatoes in the roasted pan sprinkled with salt

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Place the lamb on top of the vegetables and rub the lamb with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

    lamp shoulder on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Sprinkle the lamb with the rest of the sea salt.

    lamb shoulder sprinkled with salt

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Use the point of a sharp knife to make small incisions all over the lamb.

    make incisions in the lamb shoulder

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Place the garlic slivers and rosemary springs in the slits.

    Place the garlic slivers and rosemary springs in the slits in the lamb shoulder

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  10. Place the roasting pan on the middle oven rack and roast for 1 1/2 hours, or until a meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the lamb reads 140 F for rare, 160 F for medium, and 170 F for well done.

    roasted lamb shoulder and vegetables

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  11. Remove from the oven and transfer the lamb to a plate to rest.

    roasted lamb shoulder on a plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  12. Cover the lamb with aluminum foil and let it sit for 10 minutes.

    lamb shoulder wrapped in aluminum foil

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  13. Serve the lamb with the roasted potatoes and onions, and mint sauce on the side.

    Traditional Lamb Shoulder Roast served with potatoes and onions

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

New Zealand Lamb Facts

New Zealand is touted to have the best lamb in the world and, as such, is a major exporter of lamb products around the world. In addition to fabulous flavor, lamb is rich in nutrients, like B vitamins, zinc, and iron, all of which are necessary for a  balanced diet. And the real plus? It's also lower in calories, fat, and cholesterol when compared to beef.