It’s barbecue season here in the UK, so what better time to upload a smokey, herby, spicy barbecued lamb shoulder recipe for you all to enjoy? Lamb shoulder is a pretty cheap cut of meat, and with it being marbled with fat, it’s perfectly-suited to slow cooking on the BBQ, as well as delicious paired with strong herbs and spices.
You’ll need to start prepping 4 hours before eating with this one, and the more you cook it, the better the outcome. You’ll also need to make sure you can keep your BBQ going at a good heat for at least 3 hours.
Feeds: 4 people (more if you’re less fussy about the fattier cuts)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp mustard
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 tsp rock salt
- 1tsp cracked black pepper
- Thumb-sized piece of ginger (finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of half an orange
- 1 medium-sized, bone-in lamb shoulder (anywhere between 1 and 2 kg is fine).
Before you start, light the BBQ to a high heat and line a tray at least 2 inches deep with tin foil. This is what you’ll cook the lamb in.
Add your fennel, coriander and cumin seeds to a pan, and heat on the hob at a med-high heat. Move them about continuously, until they start to smell amazing. At that point, move them to a pestle and mortar and grind. Add your paprika, thyme, salt and pepper at this point and grind some more.
Next, in a bowl, add the chopped garlic & ginger, olive oil, orange juice, orange zest and mustard. Add your ground spice mix here too and mix. The consistency should be a thick but wet paste. If it’s too dry, add more olive oil.
Now it’s time to prepare the lamb shoulder. Score it with a sharp knife at about 1cm intervals, both vertically and horizontally, this will help the rub soak in and stop it slipping off during cooking. Once this is done, with your hands rub the spice paste all over the lamb. Spend some time getting it into all the cracks.
*Tip – Add the paste in the tray you’ll cook the lamb in; this way any lost will be recycled later.
Next, you’ll have to seal/sear the lamb; this is the best bit. Carefully remove from the tray, and add to the hot barbecue. After about 5 minutes, flip it over. You should see a nice golden crust on the meat. A little bit of burnt crust on the outside is no issue here, it’s bbq after all.
After another 5 minutes – once the other side is done – move the meat back into the tray, and add around 300ml of water. Then add a layer of foil over the meat. This will help the juices to stay in with the lamb, ensuring it’s nice and moist.
Now move the bbq tray slightly higher; we’re looking to reduce the temperature to about 160-180 degrees Celsius, but it’s no exact science. Add the lamb back to the heat, and cook for 3 hours. Check every half hour that the liquid in the pan isn’t drying out too rapidly. If it is, add more, and ensure that the meat is well wrapped in foil.
Once it’s finished, take off the bbq, leave to rest for 10-15 minutes, then pull apart with a knife and fork. It’s up to you how much of the fatty meat you eat. We tend to stick to the tender, juicy meat and throw the most fatty sections, but it’s all personal preference.
With this being a fairly fatty cut, I’d recommend serving with a tangy sauce. Fruity relishes go very well, as does coleslaw. Also, this lamb is great in a souvlaki, a brioche roll, or with some barbecued potatoes. Lovely.