Smoked Hogget Shoulder

124/18: Smoked Hogget Shoulder

124/18: Smoked Hogget Shoulder

The best lamb I have eaten comes from Richard Briggs the farmer behind Briggs Shetland Lamb. When Richard got in touch to say he was starting up deliveries for 2018 and he had some hogget I had to have some. Looking through my recipe “to do” list the dish that stood out was Smoked Hogget Shoulder with cumin, smoked paprika and buttermilk dressing. Decision made!

The Recipe:

This recipe is from Grill Smoke BBQ by Ben Tish:

The Meat:

As I mentioned above, the best quality and best tasting lamb I have eaten is from Briggs Shetland Lamb. The lambs spend their days on a rough pasture croft on the island of Shetland. The breed is naturally smaller with a finished lamb weighing 8kg to 14kg compared to other breeds at 17kg to 22kg. Richard compares his lambs to Oranges and Tangerines, the smaller ones are juicier!

The hogget was 18 months old and cost me £100 fully butchered and delivered. If you live in Scotland Richard might be able to deliver it in person on his way to the restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh. If you live further away you can order through Fresh Food Express who will courier the meat to you.

In the box: 

  • 2 leg joints which include the chump
  • 2 racks of rib chops (Not French trimmed)
  • 2 racks of loin chops
  • 2 shoulder joints
  • Neck
  • and pieces of flank

 The cut selected for this cook was the shoulder.

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

Flipped over:

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

The Prep:

In a bowl I mixed rapeseed oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, ground coriander seeds, ground cumin, garlic and red wine vinegar. I blitzed this then rubbed it all over the hogget shoulder. This was covered with foil and placed in the fridge overnight.

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

On the day of the cook I fired up a full fire basket of Oxford Charcoal Oak Lumpwood, lit it in 3 places with a target temperature of 350F. Grapevine chunks from Smokewood Shack dropped in then heat deflectors in place.

The Cook:

Once the KJ was at 350F I put the hogget shoulder on the grill, inserted the Meater probe and shut the lid. 

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

To go with the hogget shoulder the book suggests potato and honey flatbreads. I made the dough (bread flour, yeast, salt, crushed roast potatoes, water and honey) and left it to prove for an hour before knocking it back and leaving it for another hour. Next the dough was split into half with each half used to form four dough balls which were placed on greaseproof paper in a tray and left for half an hour. Semolina flour and sea salt were then sprinkled on top and the dough balls were left for another half hour.

The recipe says to take the internal temperature of the meat to 75C and it should take around four hours. This one hit 75C in an hour and a half which caught me surprise a bit! 

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

I wrapped the meat in foil and left it to rest for an hour before pulling it. Wasn’t the easiest to pull and looking back 75C is a bit low for pulled lamb, I think 90C would have been a bit better. Anyway, I got it pulled and it was looking great. Nothing added to the tray here, this is just the pulled meat.

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

When the dough balls were left for their final half hour rest I fired up the Ooni Pro – a bed of charcoal lit with flamers, left for twenty minutes then topped up with oak chunks. Once the Ooni Pro was nice and hot I shaped the first dough ball into a flat bread shape and launched it into the oven with a wooden peel.

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

After each bread was cooked I placed them in a freezer bag. This is a trick I learnt on the chicken gyro cook as it keeps the bread soft. Once all eight dough balls were cooked it was time to plate up:

Time to Serve:

Flatbread, hogget shoulder, buttermilk dressing (buttermilk, white wine vinegar and garlic) then topped with red onion.

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

I couldn’t choose which plate was better.

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

Or whether the photo from above or the angled photo was best.

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

I was looking forward to eating this.

Smoked Hogget Shoulder

A smaller one for the kids too.

Smoked Hogget Shoulder


Another tasty dish from Grill Smoke BBQ by Ben Tish and great to cook Hogget again. The meat was incredibly juicy, tasted fantastic and worked well with the spice paste. The potato and honey flatbreads were the ideal dish to serve this with as combined with the hogget meat and the buttermilk dressing it was incredible! Leftovers the next day seemed to taste even better.

If I cooked this again I think I would leave it to run to 90C so it’s easier to pull. The only thing that worries me a bit is that it was so juicy at the lower temperature, would be worth a test. Does the higher temperature make it easier to pull and maintain the juice in the meat or does it dry it out? If in doubt go for 75C and let it rest as this was awesome! I might run this at 225F like most of my other low and slow cooks too, just give it a bit longer to cook.

Cook Difficulty: 3/5 
Cook Duration: Medium: 3/5
Cook Equipment: Kamado Joe Big Joe
Cook Method: Low and Slow
Charcoal: Oxford Charcoal Oak
Smoking Wood: Grapevine
Cook temperature: 350F
Cook time: Ninety minutes
Internal temperature: 75C Meater
Notes: 1: Try cooking it to 90C internal so it’s easier to pull.
2: Try cooking it at 225F so it’s a bit slower.

This recipe is from Grill Smoke BBQ by Ben Tish:




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4 thoughts on “124/18: Smoked Hogget Shoulder

  1. Looks absolutely superb, pulled lamb shoulder tacos are our family favourite and we prefer pulled lamb more than pulled pork.
    I’ve found that mid to high 90’s Celsius works best for lamb shoulder.
    We’ve tried spring lamb and mutton, but not tried the hogget yet.
    Excellent write up and superb photography.. ?

    1. Hi Dominic, thanks for taking the time to post a comment and appreciate the feedback!
      I agree, mid to high 90’s would have been a lot easier to pull. I will do that next time. Agree about the pork too, lamb has a nicer taste I think.

      This was my first hogget, had to order it last year to get it this year!

  2. OMG that looks so good pal again you have raised the bar. I love mutton and hogget more than lamb and this looks amazing. This is defo one I’m going to try on the GMG and I will take your advice at the lower temp and longer time. When’s the cookbook or classes coming out?

    1. Hi Jools, appreciate the feedback mate. Was really happy with how this dish turned out and enjoyed cooking it too. Was good fun having the Kamado Joe and the Ooni Pro fired up at the same time!
      Good luck with your cook, tag me when you do it please.
      A few folk have mentioned a cookbook, how cool would that be?!

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