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RMJ's Roasted Rosemary Dorper Lamb Shoulder

Delicious and delicate - this lamb is lean and flavorful! Roasted Rosemary Lamb Shoulder is a wonderful family meal or elegant enough to serve for dinner guests.

Cook's note: You will be adding raw carrots and potatoes about an hour before your lamb is finished - make sure to set a timer so you don't forget.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients for the Lamb:

1 Dorper lamb shoulder (5-6 pounds)
Rosemary kosher salt (Kosher salt mixed with rosemary)
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1-2 bunches fresh rosemary sprigs, rinsed
1 bulb garlic, peeled, trimmed and halved

Ingredients for the Potatoes and Carrots:
8-10 medium-sized red potatoes, peeled and quartered
6-8 large carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces


Preheat oven to 450°F. Set oven rack to middle position.

Beautiful Dorper Lamb Shoulder

With a very sharp knife, lightly score the fat side of the lamb, (making it look like graph paper - see photo). Generously sprinkle rosemary salt and pepper on all side of the lamb. Drizzle with olive oil and rub into entire surface - redistributing the salt and pepper over the lamb.

Scored Lamb Shoulder

In a large roasting pan with sides, add some olive oil, covering lightly the bottom surface of the pan. To the oiled pan, add half the sprigs of rosemary and half the cloves or garlic. Add the seasoned lamb shoulder and cover with remaining sprigs of rosemary and garlic.

Lamb Shoulder with rub, garlic and rosemary

Cover the entire top of the roaster with aluminum foil; making sure the roaster is tightly covered. Place the roasting pan in the oven and reduce the heat to 325°F. Cook the lamb for 4-41/2 hours or until the meat is fork tender and coming away from the bone.

For the Carrots and Potatoes:

About an hour before the lamb is done, add prepped carrots and potatoes to the roaster. Continue to cook the vegetables with the lamb.

Lamb Shoulder with added carrots and potatoes

During the remaining cooking time, turn potatoes over to brown about halfway through. If potatoes are not golden brown when ready to remove the lamb, remove lamb to a platter to rest and turn up the heat to 400°F (don't re-cover the pan). In about ten minutes, once lamb has rested, potatoes should be well browned.

Add carrots and potatoes to the lamb platter and serve! Serve with some fermented vegetables or a crisp green salad.

RMJ's Roasted Rosemary Dorper Lamb Shoulder

Ruth Mossok Johnston