It is not uncommon to see lamb paired with honey, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. In many Moroccan recipes, cooked lamb is drizzled with honey or added to tagines. The sweet, dark honey flavours in stout are perfect with lamb, and the combination makes for a great slow-cooked recipe. Don’t eat this straight from the oven — leave it for an hour or so and drink with a slightly chilled stout. 






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (88 votes)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lamb shoulder, about 2 kg (4 lb 8 oz)
  • 2 onions, halved and sliced into wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 large rosemary sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) stout
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) malt vinegar
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • steamed greens, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Heat the oil in a flameproof, heavy-based casserole dish over high heat. Cook the lamb, skin side down, for 5 minutes, or until the fat is golden brown. Turn over and cook for another 5 minutes.

Strew the onion, garlic, rosemary and bay leaf over the lamb, then season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use a large spoon or tongs to push the ingredients around in the pan, so the onion starts to sizzle in the oil. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion smells sweet and just starts to colour.

Add the stout, vinegar, stock and sugar. Give the pan a shake to loosen any bits that are stuck. Turn the lamb over a couple of times so the ingredients are well combined.

Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then transfer to the oven and bake for 2½-3 hours, or until the lamb easily pulls away from the bone. Remove from the oven, leave to rest for a while, then serve with steamed greens.


Recipe and image from Food + Beer by Ross Dobson (Murdoch Books, $45, hbk).


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.