Slow-Cooked Lamb with Tahini Sauce and Quinoa Salad

I have a good friend in blogging, Tania, who has a blog, My Kitchen Stories.  She’s a professional chef with plenty of years of experience (although that doesn’t mean she’s still not in her youth), and not only does her blog have the most wonderful user-friendly recipes, she usually has a great story to tell about some of her incredible traveling adventures.

Shoulder of lamb with shank

Shoulder of lamb with shank


Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

I didn’t know Tania before I started blogging and it’s been so much fun developing a friendship with her over the past few years.  As an incredible coincidence, her son, Skater-boy has ended up at the same university as my Archie.  We now have a mutual interest outside of food and blogging.  Skater Boy and Archie haven’t met yet but because they’re in a very small private college, it’s only a matter of time.

A gift from my friend Claire

A gift from my friend Claire – claire k creations

When Carl and I took Alfie away on a holiday to Coffs Harbour, I knew I would be staying in an apartment with limited kitchen equipment so I thought the easiest way to put a good meal on the table would be to bar-be-cue.  Well for six nights straight we ate steak with baked potatoes and a salad.  Nothing to complain about for sure but by the time we had finished off the steak I’d packed in my luggage and had the Indian Restaurant experience, we were ready for a change in cuisine.  We came home and ate vegetarian for a while but then last week Tania posted a slow-cooked lamb recipe.  The temperature here in Sydney has recently descended into true Autumn/Winter levels and so slow-cooking is very welcoming.

Rubbed in all the spices and flavours and ready for the oven - see you in four hours!

Rubbed in all the spices and flavours and ready for the oven – see you in four hours!

Last week Tania posted a recipe for slow-cooked shoulder of lamb with black tahini sauce and a quinoa salad.  I was unable to source black tahini so I used unhulled tahini but I’d like to try this again with the black version.  Tania’s recipe called for a 1.5kg -2kg (3.30 – 4.40 pound) shoulder of lamb.  Unfortunately, these days the majority of lamb shoulders presented in supermarkets and butchers are so trimmed that it’s difficult to find them with that kind of weight on them.  After a fruitless search I went to a very good quality butcher where they freshly prepared the shoulder for me, keeping the shank in place.  My shoulder weighed just under 2kgs and that was enough to serve between 4-6.

Slow-cooked until it's falling off the bone

Slow-cooked until it’s falling off the bone

Despite not having the black tahini, my unhulled tahini sauce was delicious with the lamb and the quinoa salad with the lemon dressing cut through the richness of the meat perfectly.

Shoulder of lamb with the tahini sauce

Shoulder of lamb with the tahini sauce

This was the perfect meal to end a full-on week.  The roast slow-cooks in the oven until it’s just falling off the bone and while it’s cooking you have plenty of time to relax over a glass of wine.

Thanks Tania for adding a great recipe to my repertoire and thanks Claire for the gift of Dukkah – I found a great use for it.

Slow-cooked shoulder of lamb

Slow-cooked shoulder of lamb

Slow-Cooked Lamb Shank with Tahini Sauce and Quinoa Salad

Serves:  4-6

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  I think shoulders of lamb are very inexpensive given how delicious this cut of meat is.  My advice would be to buy them now before they become popular and the price increases accordingly.

  • 1 x 1.5 – 2 kg (2-4 lb)Lamb shoulder on the bone
  • 3 tbspns ground cumin
  • 1 tbspn dijon mustard
  • 1 tbspn of smoked paprika
  • 5 tbspns olive oil
  • 1 piece of chopped preserved lemon
  • 2 tbspns sesame seeds
  • 2 tbspns of Zaatar or Dukkah – I used Claire’s Dukkah
  • Salt and Pepper
Quinoa Salad
  • 1 cup of Quinoa (cooked in boiling water and drained – cool)
  • 1 tomato finely diced
  • Juice of ½ a lemon ( ¼ cup)
  • 1 bunch of chopped mint
  • 1 bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ½ a small Spanish onion finely diced
  • 2-4 tablespoons of Olive Oil ( I like 4)
  • generous salt and pepper
Black Tahini Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Black Tahini
  • Juice of ½ a lemon ( or to taste)
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • water – starting at 2 Tablespoons
  • salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 160 C / 320F.
Put all of the spices, preserved lemon, seeds, zaatar and olive oil into a bowl and mix into a loose paste. Rub this all over the lamb and spread the rest on top.
Put the lamb shoulder into an oven dish . Add a cup of water and cover well with a lid or foil. Put into the oven. Check at 2 hours but 3.5 to 4 hours will be the point where the lamb is soft and falling from the bone.
For the Salad.  To make sure the onion in the salad is soft and delicious and not over powering, rinse it in boiling water poured over and left to sit 30 sec and then drain.
Put the chopped onion in a bowl and add the lemon juice and tomato (with all of the juice).  Mix in the quinoa, mint and parsley and olive oil.  Mix together and taste, seasoning with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if needed.
Put the tahini , garlic, lemon juice and cumin into a bowl and start to mix.  The mixture will become firm.  Add a tablespoon of water at a time as you stir until a nice smooth sauce is formed.  You will need salt.  Taste and add more seasoning or lemon to bring out the flavours.
When the meat is ready. Put onto the top of the stove and rest.  Once I have cut the Lamb I turn on the stove top and reheat the juices and the bits of spice crust and juices left in the dish and left over when cutting.  If you wish to add a little more stock and mix around you will have a lovely sauce.
Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

Serve the lamb with the Quinoa salad and tahini.  This would also match well with roast pumpkin, sweet potato or boiled or mashed potatoes.

Very refreshing with the slow-cooked lamb

Very refreshing with the slow-cooked lamb

For more inspirational recipes, head to Tania’s blog, My Kitchen Stories.





  1. That looks gorgeous! I can completely see this being a hit with everyone in the family. Tania’s a great gal isn’t she? You both are in fact! 😀

  2. Both dishes look delicious! I’ll save it for next Autumn 😉

  3. Am I wrong or isn’t black tahini just made from black sesame seeds? I like their very deep nutty flavour, in small amounts, but I’m sure that the rich lamb shoulder meat can stand up to, in fact probably NEEDS, stronger flavours to cut through the fat. I’ve never heard of dukkah but I have tons of zataar and enjoy the sour lemony tang of the sumac. I bet the quinoa salad is nicely refreshing with the parsley and mint and also a great accompaniment to the lamb.

  4. This looks lovely and with the black Tahini would be fab. I’ve recently discovered Black sesame and it could become a theme or an obsession, especially after finding black sesame and coconut ice cream. This would make a great sunday lunch, slow cooked and served with salad, perfect for our summer. GG

  5. This looks delicious Charlie! And as you know I’m totally into slow cooking. I apologize for not having commented in a while. For some reason your posts were not arriving in my inbox, so I’m signing up again today. I swear if things aren’t in their normal place right now I can barely remember a thing. I need to slow down! This recipe looks like a great way to do that too. And I do enjoy cooking lamb in the spring. While I’m not a big lamb eater myself, the boys are and I do love the aroma that fills that house. 🙂

  6. Looks like a great recipe. Slow-cooked lamb can be incredibly tasty, and this is a great preparation for the shoulder. I haven’t had lamb in ages – sounds like I need some. With tahini sauce! And probably quinoa salad. 😉 Thanks for this.

  7. WOW! Should be so delicious. Thanks and Love, nia

  8. This sounds delicious. Do you think I could do it with goat? I have a shoulder that I just picked up from the farm and I’ve never made it before.

  9. You tackled this Lamb wonderfully my friend, looks so flavoursome 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. That is precisely the way I love to eat at home. I have never cooked with quinoa, but am going to try both these recipes. fabulous

  11. Wow. That spice rub looks awesome.

  12. What a coincedance that Tania’s son is now in the same college as Archie 🙂 A shame that I don’t eat lamb because it looks really delicous but I am going to try the Quinoa salad as I’m trying to get more healthy and eat more salads 🙂

  13. So glad you liked the dukkah Charlie! I never would have thought to use it like that though what a great idea. Winter is yet to make a real appearance here thank goodness but I’m sure it will any day now.

  14. Beautiful piece of roast! Slow roasting does wonders for meat. I am not a lamb person but my hubby would love this. I love the tahini sauce too and with that wonderful quinoa salad, perfect meal all around.


  15. I just love slow cooked lamb and this looks like the perfect Sunday dinner – and I love that it just cooks away with minimal prep while you get to relax and the cooking is done! How funny that you mentioned black tahini. I actually saw a jar of it for the very first time just two days ago and had never even heard of it – it looked rather interesting!

  16. This looks so delicious! What a great use for dukka! Isn’t it great to have wonderful online friendships!

  17. G’day! Your lamb looks STUNNING, true!
    I’ve never used Black Tahini, but now based on your salad, I have put it “on the list” too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  18. I saw these on your instagram and was already drooling. That’s my favourite way to eat quinoa – almost like a tabouli salad! Delicious!!

  19. I’m not so much a bighunkameat person, but you KNOW I love all things nut butter/tahini and quinoa!

    P.S. I’m not surprised your photo got accepted here! Stunning!

  20. I didn’t get a notification of this recipe.. bummer. I saw Tania’s roast and I thought about doing it too. Your variations and that salad look fantastic!

  21. I would not be able to resist a double portion – delicious.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  22. droooooool oh I miss lamb so xx

  23. Slow roasted lamb sounds so good right now! The tahini sauce is different and intriguing, I’ll have to look for it here and the mint in the quinoa salad would be perfect for a side dish. Wonderful meal, Charlie!

  24. I love finding inspiration in other bloggers’ food! The tahini sauce sounds perfectly paired with the lamb and the quinoa is such a breath of fresh flavor!

  25. Your roast looks and sounds delicious, Charlie. I know what you mean about finding a nice sized lamb roast. I can’t tell you the last time I saw something other lamb roast other than a leg of lamb. I should ask around again. That roast has be thinking — never a good sign. 😉

  26. While I don’t ever cook lamb at home, I am quite intrigued with this recipe, Charlie; I’m going to be on the lookout for black tahini too (although I just bought black sesame seeds so I could possible make it myself). It looks rich and perfect for a fall meal, I can only imagine how wonderful your home must have smelled with this in the oven all day long.

  27. I enjoy Tania’s blog too and saw this recipe. Yours looks every bit as delicious. The quinoa salad also looked amazing. I never manage to cook it so the grains stay separate. Maybe I am overcooking it or there are some tips I need.

  28. The lamb looks so delicious….I have never heard of Zataar or Dukkah. Are they middle eartern spices?

  29. I had no idea that you and Tania lived in the same vicinity! Your take on her lamb looks scrumptious! And I could eat a huge bowl of your quinoa salad 🙂

  30. I yet have to cook lamb shank, and when I do, this will be the way to go…slow-cook.
    Looks delicious, very flavorful and perfect paired with quinoa salad…great meal Charlie.
    Have a lovely week 🙂

  31. What great friends you’ve got! And what a Beautiful dish that turned out to be! Your pics inspire me! I’m going to look you up on instagram….I noticed a comment on another post that mentioned you have pics on there…me too! 🙂 See you there! xo

  32. Two things I love: slow cooked meat and lamb. Delicious!

  33. I admired the quinoa salad the first time and am admiring it again now! Like you, I’ve never had black tahini but hope to see it some day. What a lovely coincidence with your sons too – I’m sure they’ll have fun bonding over blogging mothers and not being able to eat kitchen creations until they’ve been photographed 😉

  34. Oh Charlie, what a very lovely post. One of the nicest things for me has been meeting lots of wonderful interesting strong women in the last couple of years. My blog buddies give me inspiration and make me laugh. Thanks for making my recipe. I am thrilled. AND
    Charlie really, I was only pretending to be Gordon Ramsay when I yelled at you to keep stirring the risotto.

  35. This recipe is not going to help my campaign to eat more vegetarian food! Seriously, it looks great. My husband who is 100% veggie can’t stand the smell of cooking lamb, so I only cook it when he is away. The last roast I did was in balsamic and yummy, this could be next… and maybe the salad just to keep the veggies up.

  36. It was so lovely meeting you on Monday! We’re making this recipe on Sunday. Well, actually Jim is going to make it, so there’s a much better chance of it looking as good as yours! Christina x

  37. The photos make these recipes really appealing, Charlie. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but if lamb is done nicely I can’t resist it. And some members of my family beg for it from time to time. I’m really glad to have this recipe. And quinoa is among my favorites these days. I like the proportions of your ingredients. What a lovely combination!

  38. What a gorgeous recipe, and such a perfect comfort food in cool weather! Love love your quinoa salad, I would devour the whole plate! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  39. It is perfect slow cook/ braising weather isn’t it? I would love this scenting the house with it’s savoury seduction ready for a gorgeous Sunday night dinner- yummo!

  40. Mm, nothing like a good piece of slow-cooked, tender, delicious lamb to make one hungry. It’s a perfect pair with this zingy, lemony salad. Looks like a great meal Charlie. I’m curious as to what kind of temperatures you get down there at this time of year… I’ll hop on to google and research it 🙂

  41. Hi Charlie, we met at Lorraine’s book launch the other week – great work on the food btw.
    I tried this one out on Mother’s Day this Sunday just gone and I had to say thank you to you and to Tanya for sharing this recipe. It worked perfectly! So delicious!
    I couldn’t find a big enough lamb shoulder with the bone (the whole in-law parade were coming over) so I used a 3kg lamb leg. It was still so tender after the four hours of cooking. I made too much tahini sauce but that’s okay – I’m using the leftovers with everything! Just had an egg sandwich with some in. It works!
    Oh and the quinoa salad was a monster hit too!
    Thanks again

    • Hi Jim, it was so lovely to meet you and Mrs Hair Romance at the launch. I’m so glad you tried this and that it worked out well. It’s so difficult sourcing a shoulder large enough for a crowd. I can’t remember if I wrote it into the post but I had to ask the butcher to ‘butcher’ me one on the spot as usually they cut too much away. Great to know it works just as well with a leg of lamb – I’ll try that!

  42. Never cooked lamb til it’s fall off the bone, but I’m up for anything. Thanks for sharing Tania’s work Charlie and getting my mind rolling. 🙂

  43. That lamb looks incredible. I love, love anything spiced and slow roasted. The quinoa sounds like a perfect accompaniment (it’s such a great grain, isn’t it? Good for you and mighty delicious!).

  44. Hi Charlie, the lamb is extremely good and tempting. Well done and I’m sure I need second helping, please. 🙂

  45. I gotta try this! I’m obssesed with slow cooking and quinoa salads lately. Looks great!

  46. Hey Charlie
    Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you I cooked this lamb recipe again last night and – once again – it was an absolute winner! Thanks for sharing!


  1. […] the way, this is not our own recipe. We were given it by our friend Charlie from Hotly Spiced, who in turn got it from Tania from My Kitchen Stories, who you should know well by […]

  2. […] While we were busy being proud, I was lucky enough to meet one of her friends and fellow food blogger, Charlie from Hotly Spiced. A quick look at her site showed me the meal I was to cook on Sunday May 12 2013: slow-cooked lamb with a macadamia dukkah and smoked paprika rub, tahini sauce and quinoa salad. […]

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