The Halls Gap Hotel’s Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder

Enjoy this lamb shoulder recipe with zaatar, lemon and garden herbs alongside delicious sides of potatoes dauphinoise and grilled vegetable salad.

Our Best’s team loves a trip to the Halls Gap Hotel (also one of our best local customers) for a classic pub meal, and this delicious spring lamb recipe with accompanying sides is always a favourite. The hotel has kindly shared the secret recipe with us, featuring local produce as much as possible. The Middle Eastern-inspired spiced lamb cuts through the classic creamy potatoes dauphinoise, and grilled vegetables and minted yoghurt round out the meal. This is what spring tastes like. Match this meal with a glass of our 2019 LSV Shiraz and you’re in for a real treat.



1.5kg–1.8kg lamb shoulder on the bone (your local butcher can trim it for you)

2 Tbsp zaatar spice blend (see below)

2 Tbsp olive oil, such as one of the Mount Zero olive oils

1 tsp salt, such as locally sourced, sustainably farmed Mount Zero Pink Lake Salt

1 lemon, halved

2 Tbsp chopped garden herbs, such as sage, rosemary or thyme (whatever favourites you have growing in your garden)



Zaatar is a commonly used spice blend throughout the Middle East. It’s often a mix of savoury dried herbs, spices, toasted sesame seeds and, most importantly, sumac, which brings a delicious citrus tang. This recipe makes twice as much as you need for the lamb, but you can store the remainder for months in an airtight container in your pantry. Save it for another special lamb occasion, or even sprinkle it on your poached eggs for breakfast.

1 Tbsp dried thyme or oregano

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp ground coriander

1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 Tbsp sumac

1 tsp salt


You can use this zesty topping to dress the lamb, the salad, or both.

1 cup yoghurt, such as Meredith Dairy Natural Sheep Milk Yoghurt

1 garlic clove, crushed

½ tsp salt

4 Tbsp mint, chopped


2 cups cream, or 1 cup each milk and cream

1 garlic clove, crushed

1½ tsp salt

½ tsp white pepper

900g russet potatoes, peeled (any potatoes will do, but higher starch varieties are preferable)

50g parmesan, grated


1 eggplant

2 zucchini

200g butternut pumpkin

1 red capsicum

¼ head cauliflower

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp chopped garden herbs, such as sage, rosemary or thyme (whatever favourites you have growing in your garden)



  1. Preheat oven to 240˚C (220˚C fan forced). Using a sharp knife, score the lamb about 1cm deep. Combine zaatar ingredients in a small bowl. Rub lamb with olive oil, salt and zaatar.
  2. Place lamb in a roasting dish with lemon halves and ½ cup water. Sprinkle with herbs. Tightly cover with lid or double layer of aluminium foil. Roast in oven, reducing heat to 180˚C (160˚C fan forced), for 3 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, make the minted yoghurt and the potatoes. For the yoghurt, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. For the potatoes, add cream (or milk and cream, if using), garlic, salt and pepper to an ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. While the liquid is heating, use a mandolin or sharp knife to slice the potatoes into 3mm thick rounds. Add potatoes to the simmering liquid (the liquid should just cover potatoes). Once the liquid returns to a simmer, season to taste. When there is 45 minutes left on your 3-hour lamb timer, place potatoes in the oven. (They cook at the same temperature as the lamb.) Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are tender and slightly brown on top (about 45 minutes).
  5. When the lamb has cooked for 3 hours, remove both lamb and potatoes from oven. For lamb, remove cover and add another ½ cup water. Return to oven and increase heat to 200˚C (180˚C fan forced) for another 20 minutes, or until skin is brown and crisp. For potatoes, sprinkle with parmesan and return to oven, until cheese melts and begins to brown (5-10 minutes). Remove from oven and let rest 15-30 minutes before serving.
  6. Remove lamb from oven and let rest for 20 minutes. (If there are any pan juices, you can use them to make gravy, if you wish.)
  7. While the meat and potatoes rest, make the grilled vegetable salad. Slice eggplant, zucchini and pumpkin into 1-cm-thick slices. Chop capsicum and cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Place all vegetables in large frying pan over high heat and drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Cook, turning vegetables, until lightly brown and just cooked through (about 2 minutes). Transfer vegetables to a large salad bowl and toss with remaining olive oil and herbs. Season to taste. You can serve this salad hot or cold.
  8. Serve lamb with potatoes dauphinoise and salad, with minted yoghurt on the side for dressing lamb or salad.


Serves 4


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