The Smokin' Elk's Moroccan-Spiced Shoulder of Lamb

The Smokin' Elk's Moroccan-Spiced Shoulder of Lamb

Fire cooking fanatic The Smokin’ Elk absolutely loves lamb and of course he loves to BBQ, so we invited him to create a recipe for some really tender pulled BBQ lamb shoulder packed with flavour.

One of the best cuts of lamb to cook on the BBQ is the shoulder – it has plenty of fat running through it and when cooked low and slow, it all breaks down nicely into some really tender and juicy pulled lamb. The trick is to take the internal temperature way past where you usually would with lamb.


Forget medium rare or medium, you want to take this all the way to around 93-95 °C. This is the sweet spot where you’ll find the lamb will almost just fall apart! I like to put a nice Moroccan style marinade on the lamb then let the fire and smoke do its thing.

  • 1 lamb shoulder (bone in)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Set up your BBQ for indirect cooking. You want it set at around 150°C with a small chunk of cherry wood in there for the smoke. If using an oven then pre-heat your oven to 150°C.
  • Crush the seeds & peppercorns in a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder until you have a coarse powder. Add the resulting spice mix into a bowl with the rest of the marinade ingredients and mix well. Make some incisions in the lamb shoulder then rub the spice marinade all over. You can marinade this overnight if you wish or you can cook straight away!
  • Place your DOT Digital Oven Thermometer probe into the thickest part of the lamb shoulder and set the temperature to 93°C.
  • Place the lamb shoulder on the BBQ or into the oven and leave it until the DOT alarm sounds.
  • Using a Thermapen, probe the shoulder all over to check it has reached 93°C throughout. You want the probe to slide in with little to no resistance. If there is resistance, carry on cooking and checking it every 10-15 minutes until it feels tender to probe.
  • Rest for 30 minutes to an hour, then take some forks and pull the lamb apart, removing the bone.
  • Garnish with some chopped pistachios and serve with your sides of choice. Flatbreads, rice, salad, chilli sauce – make a spread and let everyone just tuck in and enjoy!
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"I'm Elky, also known as The Smokin' Elk. I absolutely love cooking to fire and the Thermapen helps me up my game by cooking to the perfect temperature, every time. It's the one BBQ tool I wouldn't be without!"
The Smokin' Elk
Fire Cooking Fanatic, BBQ School owner
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