Spalla d' Agnello Arrostito nel Forno

(Wood Oven Roasted Lamb Shoulder )

Note:  This recipe assumes that a lamb shoulder - bone in - is available, or that the cook can have a shoulder boned by their butcher.  Additionally, in addition to a wood fired oven, a rack is needed that can be inserted into the oven in order to cook the roast.


1 3 -4 Lb. Lamb shoulder - boned
2 Branches Rosemary - fresh
1/4 Cup Olive oil - Extra virgin or 2 TBL. butter
1/4 Cup Salt - either Kosher or medium sea salt
Pepper Q.B. To taste
1 Roll Kitchen string


If your butcher cannot, or will not, bone the shoulder, bone as a first step in this recipe.  Since the roast will be rolled, a perfect boning job is not necessary.

Lay the shoulder out on a cutting board, and salt it liberally with half the salt.  Lay the two rosemary branches on the meat, then sprinkle the olive oil onto the lamb.  (If using butter instead, break it into small pieces and sprinkle it over the lamb.

Roll the lamb shoulder into a jelly roll shape and tie it every 2 inches with kitchen string.  When this is done, tie it lengthwise with another piece of string.  A second long piece  of string can also be used at 90 to the first long string - this will help to keep the roast straight.  Once this is complete, liberally salt the entire exterior of the roast. 

Set the roast on a platter or in a plastic container, then place it in the refrigerator for 48 hours.  Remove the roast from the refrigerator at least 2 hours prior to placing it in the oven.

Fire the oven 3 hours before planning to roast the shoulder.  By the time the roast is to go into the oven, the ashes should be white hot and banked at the back of the oven.

Set the roast on the rack near the front of the oven.  Roast for 5 minutes on each side then continue turning the roast every 5-6 minutes until it reaches the level of doneness desired.  We enjoy lamb medium rare, and removed it from the oven when the internal temperature reached 145 F.   At this point, about 3-4 inches of each end was cooked perfectly, and the center was rare. We had the ends that evening, and froze the remains to cook a bit another night, or to use in a pasta sauce.

We cannot provide exact guidance relative to how long to cook the roast, as this depends upon a number of factors, including the size  of the roast, the temperature of the  oven and your taste in meat.

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Last updated on:07/11/04 08:42:31 PM