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Herb-Crusted Roasted Lamb Shoulder

Herb Crusted Roasted Lamb Shoulder

I make this when my dad comes to dinner. This recipe is reminiscent of a classic French preparation called a persillade, which builds flavor from an abundance of parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. For this recipe, I recommend a shoulder of lamb, but the very same prep can be used for a veal shoulder or breast.

  • 4 ServingsServings


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoon finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (3 ½-pound) shoulder of lamb, rolled and tied
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)


1. Combine salt, parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, mustard, and oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. 

2. Process until a smooth paste forms. Slather the herb mixture over lamb and let it rest, covered, out of the fridge. Preheat the oven to 325°F. 

3. Place lamb on a rack set in a roasting pan and roast for about 1½ hours. Add half the stock and half the wine, baste lamb and continue roasting, until an instant read thermometer reads 145° to 150°F, about 30 minutes longer.

4. Check the pan periodically to baste lamb and add more water or stock if needed. When lamb is done, transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. 

5. Place the roasting pan directly on your stovetop and heat the pan juices over low heat. Add remaining stock and wine to the roasting pan, scraping up the bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. To thicken the sauce, create a slurry with cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water, and stir into the sauce. Bring to a boil and repeat if necessary. Slice lamb and serve with the gravy spooned on top.

Serve with Israeli Couscous

1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 cups Israeli couscous and toast until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth; bring to a boil. 

2. Reduce heat and simmer, covered until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Stir in ½ cup halved pitted kalamata olives, ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, and grated zest of half a lemon (or more, to taste). Drizzle with good quality olive oil and serve.

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