Hickory-Maple Pulled Lamb Shoulder



Marinated American lamb chops with rosemary & garlic on a plate


  • 12 pounds American Lamb shoulder, bone-in
  • 1 quart onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup hickory barbecue spice blend
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups reserved lamb juices
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups hickory barbecue sauce
  • 12 cornbread, 3-inch square, split, or hamburger buns, seeded, toasted
  • 3 cups sweet creamy coleslaw


Spread onions and garlic in an even layer in a roasting pan.  Place lamb shoulder on top of onion-garlic layer; pat spice blend onto the lamb to coat evenly.  Cover tightly with foil.  Bake in 275°F convection oven (or 325ºF conventional oven) for at least 4 to 5 hours or until tender and falling off the bone; remove from heat.  Let lamb rest 15 to 20 minutes. 

Remove pan juices from pan and place in a container; cover and chill.  Once cold, remove top layer of fat from juices.  Discard fat and reserve juices.  Pull meat from roasted lamb shoulder; roughly chop and place in a full-size hotel pan.

In a saucepan, add cider, lamb juices and syrup; heat to boiling.  Lower heat; reduce mixture by half, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir in barbecue sauce; simmer 6 to 8 minutes.  Remove from heat; cool to room temperature (yields 1 quart).  Pour 3 cups of the simmered sauce over top of pulled lamb and toss to coat well; cover and chill. 

Cover and bake pulled lamb in 300°F convection oven (or 350ºF conventional oven) for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. 

To serve:  For each serving, spoon 1 cup barbecue lamb shoulder onto a toasted piece of split cornbread or hamburger bun with extra sauce on the side; top with 1/4 cup coleslaw.  

Pulled lamb can be served over pasta or roasted vegetables if desired.

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