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Lamb Shoulder: Tips & Techniques


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No pix - I'll take some next time.

Basically follow the bones round with a sharp boning knife.

The blade bone is flat one side but has a ridge on the other.

You end up sort of with two pockets, one from each bone.

Good idea to take the tough skin off as well.

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James Peterson's Essentials of Cooking has very detailed photographed section on butchering lamb, including the saddle.

I bought my copy remaindered fairly recently and still see lots of PB copies of the book on sale around town.

Edited to add: Just checked. The section on lamb covers: leg (including removal of shank),

the rack (separating, trimming, "Frenching", cutting into chops); and trimming & roasting a saddle, including carving the latter. I don't see references to a rolled shoulder roast.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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It's true that lamb shoulers are a painto carve. I much prefer them boned. It goes fairly well. Just arm yourself with patience, a good knife and go slowly. No pictures necessary. Look at the shoulder, imagine the bone structure and it should turn out well.

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Some years ago our market had lamb shoulder on special at a very good price. Our stores here always saw the meat into slices and then tie it all back together making a very nasty excuse for a roast. It always gets protein globs between the slices and is just plain disgusting.

I asked the butcher for one that hadn't been sliced and he brought it out and asked, in a sarcastic tone, if I was going to cook it till it fell off the bone.

I told him I was going to bone it and he said he was glad it was me doing it.

Needless to say he is no longer working there.

I have Merle Ellis' "Cutting up in the Kitchen" which gives detailed instructions. I won't say it is easy to do but it is mostly time consuming.

Don't slice open your thumb like I did once, though.

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Boning Inst's

These pictures make the process look more difficult than it really is.

Once you've done it, it'll be a piece of cake,,,,,,uh,,,boned leg of lamb.

Edited by YoChefGregg (log)

-------------------------

Water Boils Roughly

Cold Eggs Coagulating

Egg Salad On Rye

-------------------------

Gregg Robinson

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Can a lamb shoulder be so very different from a pork shoulder? Deboning a pork shoulder.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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The things I do for eGullet.

Here is how I bone and stuff a shoulder of lamb. It may not be the best way, but it works for me.

Take one full shoulder of lamb:

gallery_7620_135_2105.jpggallery_7620_135_929.jpg

I've drawn on roughly where the bones are: the flat shoulder blade (scapula), the upper arm and the lower arm. Note the projection of the equivalent of the elbow. The top of the shoulderblade has a ridge rubbing down it.

The other side. Using a sharp small boning knife (this one is a my favourite full carbon steel "au carbonne" Sabatier) start at the flat side of the scapula, where it meets the edge of the joint.

gallery_7620_135_583.jpggallery_7620_135_7426.jpg

Roll back the meat like a sock. The top side has a ridge of bone running along it.

Soon you will reach the shoulder and have to turn though a right angle.

gallery_7620_135_4422.jpggallery_7620_135_8260.jpg

Continue down the upper arm, Its worth remembering that the muscle bundles are attached by cartilage at the top and bottom of the bones, co cutting round the end of the bone beneath the joint frees them. Getting round the elbow is a bit tricky, you can just give up and cut it off, and stuff the spare meat inside.

gallery_7620_135_430.jpggallery_7620_135_13004.jpg

Pretty soon you will have it done. Tidy up and cut off any hard bits of sinew of large pieces of fat. Since its going to be stuffed and rolled it is pretty forgiving, and doesn't mater if it looks a mess at this stage. Just don't cut yourself.

You might like to trim off the tough outer skin as well.

gallery_7620_135_3894.jpggallery_7620_135_958.jpg

Stuff with your favourite forcemeat. This is sausagemeat plus softened onion plus parsley plus pepper. Tie up into a neat shape. Some people tie into a round pillow shape, but I find that awkward to carve. The stuffing when it cooks and sets will hold everything together, and you can use it to fill any inadvertent holes.

gallery_7620_135_5031.jpggallery_7620_135_4361.jpg

Ready for the oven. Shoulder is quite tough meat, with lots of connective tissue, so long and slow does it. I'd recommend about 8 hours at around 75C/160F aiming for an internal temperature of 60C/140F. Failing that bung it in a hot oven for two hours, and then let it sit in a warm place for half an hour. Lamb is pretty forgiving stuff.

Lots of uses for leftovers, if any. Shepherds pie, Irish stew, mince and used in a lasagna to name a few.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Very good demonstration, jackal10. Much clearer than drawings.

And yes it is similar to boning a pork shoulder.

I think it's wonderful that these two cuts that are reasonably priced make such lovely braised dishes.

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The things I do for eGullet.

Here is how I bone and stuff a shoulder of lamb. It may not be the best way, but it works for me.....

LOL, and the things you inspire me to do just by looking at your demos....

Thanks, Jack.

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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  • 11 months later...

does anyone have this book?

I watched her show yesterday and she did these with roasted acorn squash salad. Well, I bought a couple of these big fat amazing chops this morning, and thought I could just look up the recipe on line but it's no where to be found, only mentioned. Can anyone help me out?

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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no need now...I just went ahead and winged it. I mainly wanted to know the oven temp and cook time, I don't think these can be that tempermental.

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a nice lamb shoulder, with bone (about 5 or 6 lbs.) I was thinking of roasting it at about 325F with a spicy baste. I keep finding conflicting information about what my internal temp should be when I remove it from the oven. I have seen suggestions range from 120F - 165F for medium-rare. What gives?

Edited by jfilmm (log)
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Lamb is very tolerant.

You can roast it rare at 58C/130F or take it all the way to 75C/165F.

These are two different styles, so you should be at one temperature or the other rather than in the middle

Since shoulder has a lot of connective tissue hold at your desired temperature for 8 hours so the collagen softens.

My personal choice would be to bone and stuff it, then cook at 60C/140F or thereabouts for 8 hours

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For my personal taste I prefer to braise the shoulder, of any animal. It is tougher and has more collagen than the leg, that's to say that will not suffer longer cooking.

If it is a lamb shoulder steak though, I don't mind putting on the grill.

For the leg I keep it at 150 F. Something in the middle. 160 is well done but not dry.

Edited by Franci (log)
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Stuffings for boned shoulder:

Sausagemeat plus softened onion and white pepper

or

Bread/breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, bound with egg (the bread adsorbs the fat)

Need to cook this over 62C to set.

Season well.

Also trim off the "bark" - the tough membrane covering the meat

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Unfortunately I don't think I can bone this thing (unless I cut it into small pieces or chops.) It seems to be the upper part of the shoulder with more than a few ribs. Am I better off roasting this as a whole or attempting to make chops out of it?

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