Roast Lamb Shoulder With Rosemary, Sage, and Garlic

April 9, 2020 Updated: April 9, 2020

Roast Lamb Shoulder With Rosemary, Sage, and Garlic

When it comes to roasting lamb, we usually select the shoulder. As with every traditional roast, rub it with salt and herbs—in this case finely chopped rosemary, sage, and garlic—before dousing it in extra virgin olive oil. If you do not have fresh herbs, use dried rosemary and sage, but reduce the quantity to half a tablespoon each; otherwise, they will be too overpowering.

Allow the meat to roast in a hot oven for at least one hour, basting it from time to time with some white wine and juices from the pan, until golden brown and juicy. You can use a spoon, but a sprig of rosemary also makes a perfect basting brush. 

For Easter, roast lamb is traditionally served with roasted potatoes or piselli alla fiorentina.

Serves 4

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary)
  • A few fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 tablespoon dried sage)
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 pound lamb shoulder
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.

Make a battuto by finely chopping the garlic together with the rosemary needles and the sage leaves, then combine with the salt and pepper.

Rinse the lamb shoulder under running water, pat it dry, and then with a very sharp knife make a few deep cuts into the meat, all over. This will help to speed up the cooking time, as well as allow the salt and flavorings to go deeper into the meat. Lay the lamb shoulder on a baking pan and rub all over with the flavored salt.

Peel the potatoes, chop them into small pieces, then scatter them around the lamb.

Drizzle the lamb and potatoes with plenty of extra virgin olive oil.

Roast in the oven for about 50 minutes, basting often with the oil collected in the pan. 

After 50 minutes, when the lamb is almost ready, turn up the oven temperature to 430 degrees F. Combine the white wine and vinegar and pour the mixture over the lamb. Quickly stir the potatoes. Return to the oven to roast for 10 more minutes, until golden brown.

Serve immediately.