Slow-cooked Indian lime pickle lamb shoulder is an absolute winner!

If you’ve tried the Curry Pie, then you’ll want to try this.

PREP TIME: 10 mins
 3 hrs slow cooking
crowd-pleaser, family

Wine pairing: I nice cold lager!

Lamb shoulder

A decent shoulder of lamb is amazing however you cook it.

Lamb shoulder has more flavour and is easier to cook than lamb leg. 

It’s virtually foolproof, minimal effort, and incredible meat that is so tender that you won’t need a knife to carve this.

And cooked long and slow, it results in the most tender and juicy meat.

This slow-cooked lamb shoulder will be the juiciest, most incredible lamb roast you have ever had!

Perfectly marinated meat that melts in the mouth is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Indian lime pickle roast lamb shoulder

Why go for lamb shoulder

  • Great value for family meals and perfect for a Sunday lunch.
  • Better still, it tastes just as good as, sometimes even better, than more expensive leg of lamb.
  • Some say lamb is fatty. They’re wrong. Lamb fat melts at a higher temperature than beef or chicken.
  • So, if you cook it nice and slow – on a low temperature – the fat gets a chance to heat up. It then melts into the meat giving it loads of flavour. Result… a juicy, succulent roast.
  • And it’s just as tasty if you braise it. Do it just the same, long, slow and low. And you’re in for a treat.

Slow-cooking lamb shoulder

Lamb shoulder is usually generously marbled with fat.

And this fat is important as it prevents the meat from becoming dry.

A lamb leg tends to have a layer of fat on the outside, rather than marbled through the meat.

Which means that it’s not very suitable for long cooking times.

So a lamb leg is best to pot roast.

And a lamb shoulder can be enjoyed as your hands-off slow-cooking cut.

Temperature check

Ovens work differently when cooking lamb from slow-cooking to roasting and can involve a bit of gut instant.

Unless, like me, you’ve invested in a digital cooking thermometer – which I highly recommend – to ease the guess work and ensure a perfectly cooked piece of lamb.

Here are the temperatures of the meat that you need to know to cook lamb to your liking:

50C – very rare
55C – medium rare
60C – medium (pink)
65C – medium well
72C – well done

Here are  two favourite lamb recipes which are cooked very differently but are equally delicious.

Slow-cooked leg of lamb

Lamb chops with sugar snaps and peas

Make your own Indian lime pickle

Right, back to this incredible Indian lime pickle lamb.

And let’s be frank, I’m very much one for cutting corners.

And when you already have a simple slow-cook recipe in order to be hands-off.

Why would you then throw in more cooking by saying ‘make your own lime pickle’.

But then, I had a little look around and discovered 2 Indian lime pickle recipes.

And they sounded too easy to ignore.

Because in our house, we all love lime pickle and it’s zingy-ness.

So, I figured, if we can quickly make homemade lime pickle (which lasts in the fridge).

Then we’re always sorted when we make a homemade curry.

Or to use it on a cheeseboard or charcuterie board.

Or even just a dollop on top of a jacket potato.

And who doesn’t love a cheese toastie with a zingy lime pickle in the mix?!

But, having said all that, there is no shame in buying a jar of Indian lime pickle.

And I have made this recipe using store-bought Indian line pickle.

Because, I’m also a realist and time does factor into all our lives.

However, if you fancy making your own.

Then I’ve found 2 versions, you may want to try…

Homemade Indian lime pickle recipes

1. Jamie Oliver’s Indian lime pickle

Jamie Oliver’s lime pickle is super simple.

  • MAKES: 320 g
  • COOK: 15
  • DIFFICULTY: super easy


  • 250 g preserved lemons
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • a few springs of fresh coriander
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 75 g hot curry paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 limes


  1. Drain and cut the preserved lemons in half, removing any seeds.
  2. Chop finely and set aside.
  3. Finely chop the chillies, and pick and finely chop the coriander.
  4. Heat a saucepan to a medium heat, and add a splash of oil.
  5. Add the mustard seeds and when they pop, add the ginger, chilli, curry paste and tomato purée.
  6. Stir and fry for a moment before adding the chopped lemon, the zest and juice from the limes and the coriander.
  7. Season, cook for a minute, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

2. Taste Australia’s lime pickle

I found this one on Taste Australia

  • PREP: 20mins (+ 2 days of the odd bit of stirring while the limes start to brine)
  • COOK: 20 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy but needs to be done in advance to let flavours develop


  • 8 limes
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp mustard seed oil or vegetable
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 125g (3/4 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar


  1. Cut each lime into 8 wedges. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Cover and set aside in a cool dry place, stirring occasionally, for 2 days.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook for 30 seconds or until the seeds start to pop. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander and chilli powder. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until aromatic.
  3. Stir in the lime mixture, water, sugar and vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick.
  4. Spoon into sterilised glass jars. Seal and invert jars for 2 minutes.
  5. Set aside for 1 week to develop the flavours.


The pickle can pretty much last indefinitely in a sterilised jar in a cool dark place such as a cupboard to the fridge.

Slow-cooked Indian lime pickle lamb shoulder

Slow-roasted Indian lime pickle lamb shoulder

Course Main Course
Keyword lamb shoulder, roast lamb, slow cooking
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Donna Hay recipe
Cost ££


  • 3/4 cup store-bought Indian lime pickle (or see blog for homemade)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 4 tbsp coriander roots (I've never heard of these so I just used 6 tbsp coriander leaves and stalks)
  • 2.2 kg lamb shoulder, bone in
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cm piece of ginger, sliced
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
    Into a food processor, add the lime pickle, sugar, vinegar and coriander (roots, if you have them) and whizz until fine.
    Then place the lamb in a large deep-sided roasting pan and rub with this marinade.
  • Next, add the garlic, water and ginger to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cover with foil and cook for 2.5 hrs or until tender.
  • Remove the foil, and spoon over the cooking liquid, then cook uncovered, for another 30 mins or until nice and dark golden brown.
  • Serve with rice and veggies.