My F&W
quick save (...)
Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Homemade Harissa
© Antonis Achilleos

Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with Homemade Harissa

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN

Peter Hoffman believes in eating with your hands so much, his menu at Back Forty West in Manhattan has a section called “Hands.” When he makes his sensational harissa-coated lamb—meant to be torn apart and eaten in flatbread or lettuce wraps—he roasts it slowly for 10 hours. In this quicker version, the lamb cooks at higher heat for half the time: five hours. It’s still falling-apart tender.

  1. 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  2. 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  3. 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  4. 2 ounces ancho chiles (about 4) stemmed and seeded
  5. 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  6. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  7. 3 large garlic cloves, 1 clove mashed to a paste
  8. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  9. Kosher salt
  10. One 3-pound lamb shoulder roast on the bone
  11. 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  12. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  13. Freshly ground pepper
  14. Lettuce leaves and warm naan, for serving
  1. In a spice grinder, finely grind the caraway, coriander and cumin seeds. In a microwave-safe bowl, cover the ancho chiles with water and microwave at high power for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer the softened chiles and 2 tablespoons of the soaking liquid to a blender. Add the ground spices, paprika, lemon juice, the 2 whole garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of salt. Puree the harissa until smooth.
  2. Set the lamb in a medium roasting pan and rub 1/2 cup of the harissa all over the meat; let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°. Add 1/2 cup of water to the roasting pan and cover the pan loosely with foil. Roast the lamb for 2 1/2 hours, adding water to the pan a few times to prevent scorching. Remove the foil and roast for about 2 1/2 hours longer, until the lamb is very brown and tender; occasionally spoon the pan juices on top. Let stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt with the cilantro, mashed garlic clove and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Using forks or tongs, pull the lamb off the bone in large chunks. Using your fingers, pull the meat into smaller shreds and serve with the yogurt sauce, lettuce leaves, naan and the remaining harissa.
Make Ahead The harissa can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. The whole roasted lamb shoulder can be refrigerated overnight; rewarm before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Smooth, red-berried Shiraz.

You Might Also Like


Average Rating



Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
    How we use your email address
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.