Stuffed shoulder of lamb with apricots, almonds and spiced cous cous

shoulder of lamb

shoulder of lambRecipe tip: An easy entertaining recipe. This will take less than 30 minutes to prepare.

For an easy, impressive but deceptively economical meal, this recipe is a winner.


Shoulder of lamb is relatively inexpensive and looks stunning when boned, stuffed and rolled. If you can’t find boned shoulder you could rub the joint with the spices, stud the fat with garlic, almonds and apricots and roast whole. You will need to add 10 minutes to the cooking time.

Instead of the usual potatoes to accompany this roast, we’ve suggested cous cous to complement the Middle Eastern flavours of the spiced lamb.

Cous cous is an excellent kitchen staple but too often it’s served soggy and under seasoned. To make sure your cous cous is full of eastern promise, go easy on the water, leave sufficient time to steam and be generous with seasonings, lemon juice, oil and herbs.


Serves 6; 25 minutes preparation, 1 hour 5 minutes cooking time plus 10 minutes resting

Ingredients for the lamb:

1 – 1.5 kg boned shoulder lamb
125g ready-to-eat apricots, roughly chopped
50g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
zest and juice ½ lemon
2 cloves garlic crushed
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the cous cous

200g cous cous
½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp cinnamon
Juice ½ lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper


  • Start by preparing the lamb.
  • Preheat the oven to 220ºC (200ºC fan) Gas 7.
  • Mix the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl. Lay the lamb out on a flat surface, skin-side down.
  • Spread the stuffing mixture over the surface of the meat and then hold one end and roll from one end to the other so that you end up with something that looks like a rolled up sleeping bag. While rolling push any stuffing that escapes back into the roll.
  • Tie with string to hold together then place in a roasting pan, season the meat and place in the oven for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 200ºC (180ºC fan) Gas 6 and cook for another 50 minutes.
  • Once the meat is cooked, remove from the oven, place on a carving board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes while you make a gravy.
  • Tip away any excess fat from the roasting pan and then place over a medium heat along with the splash of vinegar.
  • Stir vigorously, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any caramelized flavours.
  • Add the stock or water to the pan and allow to bubble away until reduced in volume by about half.
  • Carve the meat and drizzle with the gravy juice.
  • To prepare the cous cous place the dried grains in a large bowl and cover with boiling water until they are covered by about 5mm of water. Cover the bowl with cling film and allow to stand for about 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat a small pan over a medium heat and add the cumin and ground coriander and allow to cook for about a minute or two, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  • After 10 minutes, remove the film from the cous cous and fluff the grains with a fork.
  • Mix the spices, herbs, oil and lemon juice together and then pour into the cous cous, stirring gentle to distribute.