Fez-Style Roast Lamb Shoulder


Moroccans often serve spice-rubbed whole lamb that's been cooked for hours on a spit at major celebrations. Cooking teacher Tara Stevens created this simplified version by rubbing lamb shoulder with garlicky cumin butter, then roasting. Slideshow:  More Lamb Recipes 

Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins


  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, plus more for serving

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • One 5-pound bone-in lamb shoulder, fat scored at 1/2-inch intervals

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 cup dry rosé wine or water

  • Harissa, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small skillet, toast the saffron over low heat just until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the saffron to a small bowl and crumble between your fingers. Add the butter, garlic, the 1 tablespoon of cumin, the coriander, turmeric and ginger and mix well.

  2. Set the lamb in a large baking dish fat side up and rub all over with the spiced butter. Season with salt and roast for about 30 minutes, until the meat is golden brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°.

  3. Add the rosé to the baking dish, cover with foil and roast for about 3 hours longer, basting occasionally, until the lamb is falling-off-the-bone tender. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with harissa and cumin for dipping.

Suggested Pairing

Sicilian Nero d’Avola tends to have beautiful, exotic spice notes that make it a great match for this lamb.

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