New recipes

Cooking with beer – Aussie lamb shoulder

Cooking with beer – Aussie lamb shoulder

Rich Keam

Who doesn’t like a great cut of meat and a beer to match? We’ve all had or heard of beer battered fish and chips, but my mate Mitch at Beersine in Perth, Western Australia’s sunny capital, takes things to a different level. He makes beer cheese, hop honey, meats cured in malt. I think if he could do a beer breakfast cereal, he’d probably do that as well. His thing is that cooking with beer isn’t just a slug of beer for the pot and one for the chef. He adds malts and all kinds of things to give you a dish unlike another. He shared this recipe with me for a beautiful lamb shoulder.


  • Boned rolled lamb shoulder
  • 3 Colour Organic Quinoa
  • 300ml Pale Ale (In WA Mitch uses local Feral Hop Hog or a Sierra Nevada Pale as a readily available substitute)
  • A good handful (about 150-200g) Pale Ale Malt
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranate
  • Figs
  • Corn roasted and de husked
  • Mint, Basil, Parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon and 2 limes
  • Tomato
  • 200 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil half for salad and half for lamb
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Organic Almonds
  • Binary Chilli Sauce


Put the lamb shoulder in roasting pan with a lid. Rub the leg with olive oil, salt, pepper and milled pale malt. Put the garlic into the pan, pour pale ale into the bottom of the pan and cover with a lid. Into the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the lid after the initial 30 minutes, baste the lamb and then reduce the heat to 140 degrees for 1.5 hours. Remove and don’t forget to allow the meat to rest properly. Reserve the cooking juices from the pan.

Cook your quinoa and add all other ingredients with the exception of the figs. Grill these slightly to bring out the natural sweetness. Toss the salad together and adjust seasoning if required.

The pale malt will have helped thicken the reserved juices and gives a savoury almost biscuity flavour and texture. The malt on the lamb should become crisp. If there is any sauce left you can reserve and freeze for use next time as a base. Over time you’ll end up with a “beery” master stock that will get better and better. Serve with any good craft beer from a pale ale up to an amber or a hopped red ale. Most importantly use the salad ingredients as a guide as long as its seasonal and local you’re in flavour country.

If you like the sound of this, check out my video on craft beer in Western Australia which includes a section with Mitch. From just a small handful in the 1980s, there are now over 40 breweries in Western Australia and over 200 across the country. Fremantle is seen by many as the home of craft brewing in Australia. My video guide shows where it began and where it is today.

Rich Keam is originally from Portsmouth, UK. He was one of thousands of entrants to Tourism Australia’s Best Jobs in the World campaign. He arrived in Perth in August 2013 to take up his prize job as Taste Master of Western Australia. Eating and drinking his way around the state… Hard job right? You can follow Rich’s adventures on on Twitter @richkeam or follow Kiren on Twitter @chefdebeersine.

Photo by Jessica Shaver

Smoked Lamb Shoulder Recipe

This smoked lamb shoulder recipe is a great way to mix up your typical barbecue.

For some reason lamb doesn’t get anywhere near the same amount of love as brisket or ribs. I think that’s a real shame because this fatty and slightly gamey meat makes it perfect for throwing on the smoker.

While I think lamb shoulder works best here, a bone-in lamb leg will work almost as well.

Because of the thick layer of fat on lamb shoulder, you’re going to want to cook hotter than you normally would to help the fat render and the skin caramelize. This makes lamb a particularly forgiving meat to smoke. Perfect for beginners or if you want to focus on the game instead of worrying about your temperatures.

I decided to add a Mediterranean twist and served the lamb on warmed pita bread with hummus. But if you can’t get your hands on that you can’t go wrong serving it on white bread with your favorite barbecue source.

Click to jump straight to each topic

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 medium onions (halved, sliced to 1/4-inch thickness)
  • 4 to 6 lamb shoulder chops
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup dry red wine (such as a Cabernet or Pinot)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (good-quality, or similar gourmet mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (chopped, or about 1 teaspoon dried crumbled rosemary)

Preheat the oven to 300 F.

Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the sliced onions in a heavy Dutch oven or stew pot over medium heat.

Cook the onions, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Remove to a plate.

Add the remaining olive oil and the chops―in batches, if necessary―and cook, turning until nicely browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the onions back to the pot with the lamb and garlic.

In a bowl or 2-cup measuring cup, combine the dry red wine with the mustard, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Blend well with spoon or whisk.

Pour over the lamb mixture.

If the pot isn't oven-safe, move everything to a large baking pan or casserole. Cover the pot or pan tightly with a lid or foil.

Braise in the oven for 2 to 3 hours, or until the lamb chops are very tender.

Serve the lamb chops with the cooking juices, mashed potatoes, and cabbage, or another side vegetable, along with warm biscuits or a loaf of hearty bread.

You will now receive updates from Good Food - Newsletter

Get the latest news and updates emailed straight to your inbox.

By submitting your email you are agreeing to Fairfax Media's terms and conditions and privacy policy.

Roast the pork for 20 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to char. Turn and cook for another 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 160C and roast for a further two hours, brushing with the reserved sauce and turning every 20 minutes, until the pork is very tender and deep red. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Combine the soy sauce, rice wine and sugar in a bowl. Pour in 125ml water, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Slice the pork on a serving platter. Drizzle with some of the soy sauce mixture and garnish with coriander. Serve with steamed rice and Asian greens.

Mussels with fries

1kg mussels, scrubbed, hairy beards removed
2 tbsps unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 spring onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp sea salt
330ml Belgian beer
small handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
mayonnaise, to serve

/>Mussels and fries, from Food + Beer, by Ross Dobson. Photo: Jason Loucas

1kg desiree potatoes, cleaned, skin on, cut into chips 2cm wide
vegetable oil for frying
sea salt to serve

Preheat the oven to 160C. To make the fries, put the potato chips in a colander and rinse under cold water to remove some of the starch. Tip onto a clean tea towel (dish towel) and pat completely dry. Place in a heavy-based saucepan, then pour enough vegetable oil over to cover. Heat over high heat. Use tongs to separate the chips and move them around in the pan as they slowly start to cook in the oil. When the oil starts to boil, cook for about five minutes, or until the fries are golden and crisp.

Drain in a colander set over a clean, dry saucepan. Spread the fries on a lined baking tray and bake for 15–20 minutes while you cook the mussels.

Discard any broken mussels, or open ones that don't close when tapped on the bench. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Stir-fry the spring onion and garlic for just one minute, or until softened and aromatic. Add the salt and beer and bring to the boil.

Add the mussels, stir a few times, then quickly cover the pan. Cook until the mussels have opened, which should only take a few minutes. Discard any unopened mussels, stir in the parsley, and serve with the fries and mayonnaise.

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with stout

2 tbsps olive oil
1 lamb shoulder, about 2kg
2 onions, halved and sliced into wedges
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 large rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
250ml stout
60ml malt vinegar
250ml chicken stock
1 tbsp brown sugar
steamed greens, to serve

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

Food + Beer: Great good to eat with beer, by Ross Dobson. Murdoch. $45.


Awesome winter warmer to keep you well-fed during the chilly season!

A take on the classic BBQ meat-lovers style pizza - simpler, fresher and a whole lot tastier!

Episode 2: Fresh Margherita

Think the classic Margherita pizza, but imagine it with all fresh ingredients - perfectly ripe tomatoes, bouncy buffalo mozzarella and a generous scattering of basil, that is what this pizza topper is all about!

Grilled Mullet with Sichuan, Sweet & Sour Eggplant & Asian Herbs

This is a dish that really packs a punch! A beautiful whole baked mullet, served with an amazing flavour bomb eggplant sauce.

Mushroom and Goats Cheese Quiche

This dish is a bit of a classic pairing and a serious favourite of mine. The chunky mushrooms add some nice texture and really sing with the goats cheese combination! A mid-week banger using simple ingredients which you can easily add to or change depending on your veggies of choice!

This is ballsy, this is rich, this is a punch in your face full of flavour and I love it. Definitely worth the time and effort (plus hunting down some of those special ingredients). Your kitchen will be filled with the most magical aromas, the whole street will be salivating.

Episode 5: Sour Cherry Brownie

Brownies are my all time favourite baked good! I just love them, and the addition of the nice tart cherries works really well with the luxurious chocolate and the chewy cherry adds a nice textural element to the gooey brownie.

Chocolate-Orange Rice Pudding

If you can finish a whole bowl of this, you are doing really really well! Super rich, super decadent, warming and filling. The choc orange is a classic flavour combination that will take your classic rice pudding to a whole new level.

Episode 7: Salt-Baked Mud Crab, Tarragon Mayo, Avocado

This recipe is all about showcasing the best of the produce, keeping it simple and limiting the need for any fuss!

Episode 8: Deep Fried Oyster Tacos

A wonderful spin on your classic fish taco! Crispy, crunchy and oh so good!

Dak-Bulgogi (Korean Fire Grilled Chicken)

This flavour-packed Korean recipe needs to find a place on your BBQ this summer … and every summer!

Fennel and Tomato Seafood Stew

This recipe lets the seafood sing and is completely interchangeable with what you find locally in your area or the seafood you love- mix and match, it is up to you and where you live!

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Prepare the chicken: Rinse the wings under cold running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Make two or three deep slashes, to the bone, in the meaty part of each wing. Place the wings in a large nonreactive bowl and stir in the 1/4 cup of peanut oil, 1⁄4 cup of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce, 1⁄4 cup of beer, the salt, and the 1 teaspoon of pepper. Cover the wings and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 4 hours, turning the wings occasionally.

Step 2: Meanwhile, prepare the barbecue sauce: Heat the 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and hot pepper flakes and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onion and garlic are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, 1⁄3 cup of beer, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, mustard, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer gently until thick and richly flavored, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the barbecue sauce from the heat. Measure about 1 cup and set this aside for serving.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds lamb shoulder chops, or more to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season lamb chops with salt and pepper. Sear lamb in hot oil until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove chops to a plate to drain, reserving drippings in the skillet.

Saute onion and garlic in reserved drippings until tender, about 5 minutes.

Transfer drained lamb chops to a baking dish add onion mixture. Sprinkle rosemary over the chops. Pour beef broth and red wine into the baking dish. Cover dish with aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven for 3 hours.

Remove lamb to a serving platter. Carefully drain liquid from baking dish into a saucepan and place over medium heat. Beat cornstarch and water together in a bowl using a whisk to assure no lumps remain stir into the liquid in the saucepan. Add Worcestershire sauce and cook until the liquid thickens into a gravy, about 5 minutes.

Generally, the more meek and mild a meat is, the tougher a time it has in the smoker. That’s why we need to aggressively season and brine chickens for smoking, and often why the smoke can overpower the delicate white meat. But if you take a tough and robust protein, like a brisket, the match is made in heaven. Lamb is one of those magical meats. The meat of the shoulder in particular is rippled with fat (just like a pork butt). The rich and slightly gamey (and that’s not a bad thing!) meat pack a real flavor punch that can stand up to the intense smoke flavor of a barbecue pit. Just like brisket or beef ribs, lamb can also develop that signature crusty dark bark on the exterior. This gives a lovely textural variation to the finished smoked pulled lamb meat, with salty pops of seasoned bark nestled amongst the moist and tender meat.

The nice part about smoking lamb shoulder is that it requires very little babysitting. It’s really hard to mess this up – the only real threat you have is undercooking. Essentially, once it’s in the smoker you pretty much leave it alone until its extremely tender. The mistake I see most people make is that they take the lamb out of the smoker before it’s done. When you probe the meat, make sure you stick the probe in several areas across the shoulder – ALL of them should have little to no resistance. If some areas are still tight, the meat will be tight, and you need to allow it to cook longer. If the process is taking too long, you can always employ the ol’ Texas crutch and wrap it in foil. If you do this, I recommend you try the boat method, where the meat is wrapped across the bottom and sides, but the top is exposed to preserve that gorgeous bark. For the resting stage, I recommend using butchers paper, which allows for airflow, again protecting that bark.

For seasoning, I recommend Hardcore Carnivore camo, which was formulated especially for use with lamb and game meats. Camo also has a lot of fragrant spices like allspice and coriander seed. If you wanted something more traditional, I recommend the Black seasoning which has more classic flavors and also helps get a killer crust.

How to make Smoked Lamb (amazing BBQ!)


  • 1 x bone-in lamb shoulder (about 5lb)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons Hardcore Carnivore Camo seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar


  1. Pre-heat a smoker or pellet grill to 275f. In a spray bottle, combine water and cider vinegar, and set aside.
  2. Prepare the lamb shoulder by coating well all over with olive oil.
  3. Add the seasoning, and ensure the whole shoulder is generously coated. This seasoning is the foundation to your bark.
  4. Place the lamb into the smoker and cook for 45 minutes. After this time, open the lid and lightly spray the surface of the meat with the water mixture. Repeat this step every 20-30 minutes for the next 4 hours.
  5. All up a 5lb lamb shoulder at this temperature should take about 5-6 hours to cook until tender. If you are finding that youre into the 5th hour and the meat is still feeling extremely springy, you can wrap the lamb with foil to help it cook further.
  6. The lamb is done when a probe inserted into the meat has no resistance, and the lamb is tender.
  7. At this stage, remove the meat from the smoker, and if not already wrapped, wrap in foil or butcher paper. Place the whole shoulder into a cooler or warming box, and allow to rest at least 30 minutes.
  8. To serve - shred/pull the meat and enjoy. You can use two forks but it should be tender enough to just pull with a gloved hand.

By Jess Pryles

Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She's a live fire cook, author, meat specialist and Meat Science grad student. She's also a respected authority on Texas style barbecue. Australian born and raised, she now lives in Texas.

Slow-cooked lamb shoulder with stout

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


  • 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).

  • 1 kg (2 pounds) Australian boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cubed
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups light beer
  • 500 g (1 pound) small portabello mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 package puff pastry sheets, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • black sesame seeds
  1. Place the diced lamb, flour, nutmeg and salt and pepper into a bag or bowl and toss to make sure all the lamb is well-coated. Heat the oil in a medium-heavy pot over medium-high heat. Cook lamb until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the beer and stir well to combine.
  2. Bring to a simmer. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer until lamb is tender, about 1 hour, stirring at intervals to avoid sticking. Stir in the prepared mushrooms, adjust seasonings to taste. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes with the lid removed, until the juices are reduced and thickened. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Divide stew among 4 small pie dishes. Cut four 7-inch squares of pastry. Cover each pot pie with a pastry square, allowing it to drape over the sides. Refrigerate until cold, approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Brush pie tops with egg wash and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Bake pies on a rimmed baking sheet until crusts are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables of your choice.

Recipe courtesy of

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Latest News

Organic Beef

Grass-fed certified organic Australian beef Sourced from our network of certified organic Australian cattle farms, our . Read more

Organic Lamb

Grass-fed certified organic Australian lamb Sourced from our network of certified organic Australian sheep farms, our . Read more