Shaw + Smith Team
13 July 2020 | Shaw + Smith Team

Recipe: Andrew McConnell's Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder

There is a cold chill over the Adelaide Hills at the moment… and most areas over the south east corner of Australia for that matter. This means it is Shiraz weather and the time for some hearty, rich, slow cooked meals. Our Adelaide Hills Shiraz is always a medium bodied, fragrant, spice driven and savoury expression of the variety that suits some winter ingredients.  

Recently we’ve been highlighting dishes from some of our restaurant customers across the country, showcasing iconic dishes from iconic restaurants to pair with our wines. This month we looked to Melbourne for something to enjoy with our 2017 Shiraz and the dish we kept coming back to is Andrew McConnell’s famous slow cooked lamb shoulder. It has been a staple on the menu at his Cumulus Restaurant for over ten years, and while there have been some iterations in sauces and seasonings over the years, the principle remains the same… flavoursome and juicy slow cooked lamb meat with a caramelised, chewy skin. The current menu has a red pepper and almond seasoning, but we are going back to the 2011 version with an aromatic cumin salt and fried garlic condiment. We get a lot of aromatic red fruit and pepper in our Adelaide Hills Shiraz that complements the cumin seasoned lamb. The dense midpalate gives some sweetness that matches the flavour of the meat, but the cool climate Shiraz remains light on its feet, which means it never overpowers the food. 

If you are well prepared and patient you can attempt this dish with the recipe below, though for our Melbourne members, Cumulus also arrange delivery or pick up and finish at home versions so the work can be done for you.

Andrew McConnell's Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
Serves six                                                                                                                    


1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp sea salt flakes
1 lamb shoulder, bone in (about 2kg
60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
To serve: pinch of thinly sliced dried red chilli

Fried garlic
250 ml vegetable oil (1 cup)
1 head of garlic, cloves separated, finely chopped

Lemon sauce
¼ preserved lemon, rinsed, seeds removed
1½ tbsp chardonnay vinegar
100 ml olive oil

Cumin salt
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp sea salt flakes


Dry-roast peppercorns and cumin until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Cool slightly, then pound in a mortar and pestle. Add garlic and coarsely crush, then add salt and stir to combine.

Place lamb shoulder in a roasting pan to fit snugly. Rub salt mixture over, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate (4 hours-overnight).

Preheat oven to 150C. Add 250ml water to pan, cover tightly with foil, then roast until lamb is tender (2 hours). Reduce oven to 110C and cook until very tender and falling off the bone (add a little more water if pan becomes dry), removing foil for the last hour of cooking to crisp the skin (6 hours).

Meanwhile, for fried garlic, heat oil to 170C in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and stir occasionally until light golden (30 seconds-1 minute). Drain on absorbent paper.

For lemon sauce, pound preserved lemon in a mortar and pestle to a smooth paste, add vinegar, whisk to combine, then slowly add olive oil and whisk to combine.

For cumin salt, dry-roast cumin until fragrant (1-2 minutes). Cool slightly, then pound in a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Add salt and pound to just combine.

Skim fat from pan juices (discard fat) and transfer pan juices to a jug. Place lamb on a serving platter and shred meat from bone at the table. Serve warm scattered with fried garlic, cumin salt and chilli, with pan juices to the side.


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