May 28, 2013


Jamie Oliver’s Lamb Shoulder Tikka Masala

Jamie Oliver Lamb Shoulder Tikka MasalaIf you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that I have a thing for slow cooked lamb such as this soy and garlic braised lamb shoulder or this slow cooked lamb pasta but this recipe by Jamie Oliver is the daddy of them all. Talk about a lot of bang for your buck! First you have the advantage of  using a relatively inexpensive cut of meat then add to that the very little amount of effort it takes to transform it into a stellar meal and you have the formula for a great recipe that has oodles of wow factor. Anyway enough of the superlatives and onto the recipe. I say a little amount of effort but that doesn’t necessarily translate to a fast meal. In fact the lamb shoulder needs to be marinated overnight and then cooked for a good few hours. So it’s certainly not one of Jamie’s 15 minute meals but the time involved is mostly inactive cooking and the only real effort, if you can call it that, is to trim the lamb, make a spice paste and  slice a few onions. I doubled the recipe below as I was cooking for ten people and I can highly recommend this meal if you’re feeding a crowd but it’s just as wonderful for a family dinner. I’ve made a few changes to the recipe, mainly increasing the amount of sliced onions in the bottom of the pan. They soak up all the spices and cooking juices from the lamb and create a wonderful sauce that you can’t have too much of. I paired the lamb with a chickpea curry, basmati rice and some raita. This is a warm and comforting meal for the colder months but I could just as easily eat this on a hot and steamy day with a cold beer and some naan bread. As Jamie would say, lovely jubbly!

Ingredients – serves 4 generously   Adapted from Jamie Oliver

1 large whole shoulder of lamb – about 1.8 – 2kg
4 heaped tablespoons tikka paste (recipe below)
1 long red chilli sliced – you can take out the seeds or leave it out entirely
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2-3 sprigs of mint, leaves picked
4 large onions, thinly sliced
1 heaped tablespoon sugar

Tikka Paste – makes more than you need but the leftovers can be stored in the fridge for another day
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves
A thumb size piece of ginger, peeled
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper – or replace with 1 teaspoon mild sweet paprika if you don’t want it spicy
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 heaped teaspoon best quality mild curry powder
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 red chillies – you can cut this down to 1 chilli and take put the seeds if you want it be less spicy
Small bunch coriander
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons almond meal
½ teaspoon salt


For the paste, place all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Trim the lamb shoulder of any large deposits of excess fat but don’t go overboard – you need some fat to help keep the meat moist over the long cooking time. Score the fat side of the lamb with a sharp knife and then stab it a few times to make little holes. Stuff the holes with the pieces of chilli and garlic and spread the tikka paste all over the lamb, making sure it gets into every nook and cranny. Cover and marinade in the fridge overnight, or even a couple of days.

Homemade Tikka Paste Lamb with Tikka Paste

When ready to cook, take the lamb out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 170C (or 160C fan force). In a deep roasting pan just large enough to hold the lamb (if the pan is too big the onions will burn) arrange the onions slices on the bottom and drizzle with the oil. Season with a little salt and add a heaped tablespoon or two of the left over tikka paste. Stir to coat the onions with the oil and seasonings and place the lamb on top, fat side up. Loosely cover with a piece of wet greaseproof paper and cook, basting occasionally for around 4 hours or until the coating is dark and gnarly and the meat very tender. When the lamb is about an hour away from being ready, add the sugar to the onions and stir around a little, this will help them caramelise a bit more and add a nice touch of sweetness to the sauce. I also tend to remove the baking paper at around the same time so as the meat has a chance to get a nice crust. Lamb shoulder is a pretty forgiving cut so if you want to cook it for longer just turn the heat down a bit. I always put it in about 5 – 5.5 hours before I need to serve it just to make sure I really get it to the falling off the bone stage.

Jamie Oliver Lamb Shoulder Tikka Masala

Carefully remove the lamb from the pan onto a serving platter and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Place the onions and accumulated juices over and around the lamb. Sprinkle the torn mint leaves over the top and use 2 forks to pull apart the meat to serve. Accompany with rice, naan bread and raita.

Jamie Oliver Lamb Shoulder Tikka Masala

14 thoughts on “Jamie Oliver’s Lamb Shoulder Tikka Masala

  1. Can I have this half cooked? I was planning to make this for my boyfriend but because of our schedules and we don’t live together I have to marinate it well in advance.

    • Hi Anastasia, Whilst you can easily marinate for longer – in fact the longer the better and anything up to 3 days is fine, I don’t think you can really cut down the cooking time too much. Shoulder meat, as opposed to the leg, really needs long slow cooking to become tender, and if it’s not it can be quite chewy. I’m not sure how long you have but you could always use a smaller shoulder and increase the temperature slightly to say 180 and cook for an hour or so less. You could also try cooking it long and slow on the weekend until it’s 90% done and then cool it and refrigerate it and then bring it to room temperature the night you want to eat it can cook it for the final hour or so. I haven’t tried this but it should work. Hope it works out for you as it really is a great dish.

  2. Is there a difference between baking paper and greaseproof paper? Can I just cover it in foil when it’s in the oven?

    • Hi Martine, greaseproof paper is slightly different to baking paper. It’s fine for wrapping sandwiches etc or to use when you want a layering in between food but I’m not sure it would be ideal for using in the oven as it may burn, especially over such a long cooking period. If possible I would buy baking paper or baking parchment as it sometimes called in the UK. This is also what you need to use if you line cake tins etc. Hope this helps.

  3. Hi there! Got it in the oven as we speak. Was wondering at what temp you cook your lamb over the 5-5.5 hour period? Thanks heaps!

    • Hi James, thanks for the comment and I hope you loved the lamb as much as I did. When I want to cook it for longer say 5 – 6 hours I normal have the oven at 160 for the first 4 hours or so and then turn it down to about 150 for the remainder of the cooking time. If your oven is particularly fierce then turn it down to 140.

  4. Hi could this be cooked in a slow cooker please

    • Hi Stephanie, I’ve never tried making this in a slow cooker and I’m only vaguely familiar with how they work but from what I understand I don’t see why not. If you can find timings for your machine for a slow cooked piece of lamb and what setting etc they recommend then I’m sure you could go ahead and use it for this recipe too. If you try it please report back and let us know how it turned out.

  5. Hi, do you know where the original recipe from Jamie was originally published?

    • Hi Damian, The original recipe was posted in Feast Magazine which is a food and cooking magazine in Australia affiliated with the SBS television network. Hope that helps – I did just try to google it but it doesn’t come up anymore, it did at one stage though – strange.

  6. Instead of baking can you Cook this in as low cooker

  7. Hi, am in the UK with a slow cooker. I mixed my paste with yoghurt to marinade. coked off onions slightly added to slow cooker, place lamb on top, set high 4 hrs, checked on it, kept meat tender but no crust forming, popped on tray in oven for 30 mins 190 fan, perfect

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