Roman Lamb

Roman slow cooked sweet succulent lamb from Myrna Rosen

This recipe comes from Myrna Rosen. Myrna is a legend, having taught two generations of South Africans how to cook. So many, with their mothers and grandmothers, learnt their way around the kitchen, following her every recipe. This seems to be one of her most iconic – slow cooked, a little sweet and SO SO succulent – a lamb of all lambs. (The sauce is also good with browned lamb chops or ribs.)

The sauce can be made well ahead of time, and the entire cooked dish keeps well – in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a couple of months. It works equally well for both entertaining a crowd or week night dinners – once you make it, it will become a solid part of your repertoire.

Serve with a fresh, tangy coleslaw (there is a great one, NYC Deli Coleslaw in It’s Always About the Food) and some mashed potatoes or Smashed Potatoes (recipe in The Feast Goes On) on the side. Yum.

If you’re always looking for great, weeknight dinner ideas, why not join our next masterclass, ‘Weeknight Workout: Salmon + Salsa’ ? We hope to see you then!

Roman slow cooked sweet succulent lamb from Myrna Rosen

Roman Lamb

Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Servings 4


  • 2 kg shoulder of lamb, bone in (4 1/2 lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 3 onions roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 400 ml tomato passata or puree (13 fl oz)
  • 250 ml water (1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 200℃ (400℉).
  • You will need a roasting pan or oven proof casserole dish large enough to hold the shoulder.
  • Cut small slits all over the lamb.
  • Mix together the garlic, salt, oregano and rosemary and rub all over the lamb and in the slits.
  • Pour the oil over the top. Roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven and carefully tip out the fat that has accumulated in the pan.
  • While the lamb is roasting, make the sauce.
  • Saute the onion in the oil until golden, about 20 minutes, then add the paprika and cayenne pepper.
  • Stir for a minute or so and then add the remaining sauce ingredients.
  • Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Set aside.
  • After the lamb has been in the oven for 1 hour, reduce the temperature to 120℃ (250℉).
  • Pour the sauce over the lamb, cover with a lid or a double layer of foil and cook for a further 5 hours, basting occasionally.


  1. Mrs Lee Lee

    I wish you’d schedule a series of cooking classes in Melbourne or Geelong.

    Is it possible?

    Mrs Lee

  2. Brett Churnin

    Hi Lisa!!
    Would this work in the slow-cooker??
    Much love,

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