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Lamb Shoulder: Tips & Techniques


Sackville
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Thanks, Sony. I'll probably try a marinate and pan-sear method

e.

I would cook shoulder slowly whether it's whole or as chops. It's nowhere near as tender as loin or leg. With your chops i would braise it Lancashire hotpot style. Whole shoulder is imo the best roasting joint there is. As long as you cook it low and slow for at least 3hrs it's absolutely foolproofly delicious.

Maggie, I feel your pain - even as I drizzle a little mint sauce on my leftovers.

Ha, mint sauce with lamb. Definitely a British thing, the French laugh at us all they like, it just works.

I'm with you. Slow roast with S&P plus a bit of rosemary. 3 hours minimum. Our favorite

Tis a British thing. Linda loves mint sauce Brit that she is. I can't stand it Yank that I am. I think the expression is: "everybody to their own taste."

For chops I'll go for simple most times. A very quick sautée, keep rare & enjoy.

Now, when it comes to breast of lamb I like a nice Stew with green lentils. Same for shanks.

I do love lamb!

Edited by Dave Hatfield (log)
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I like to buy a shoulder roast and slice it into 'medallions'. There are always lots of scraps left, mostly fatty bits, but some meat. I used the scraps for stews and vegetable dishes. Especially good for flavoring string beans and rice, made with tomato sauce and allspice!

I mallet the flesh lightly and then put the slices into a large glass baking dish with one of two or three seasoning blends- my daughter's favorite is rosemary, sliced garlic and a sliced apple. I refrigerate this for about a day, then take out the slices of lamb meat, drag them in some garlic and rosemary seasoned flour or matzoh meal, and cook them in a pan at a medium high heat. My daughter adores this dish, with applesauce.

I always buy kosher meat(which has been previously salted and soaked), so I don't salt it- but we also always salt at the table in our house.

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We had a pair of blade chops tonight for dinner, total weight of just over 1lb. Good marbling, so I treated them like a steak. I hit them with salt, pepper and an herbes de Provence mixture, then got a good sear on each side in a hot cast iron frying pan. Delicious, and very similar to a nice steak. A pair of nice steaks will run 2-3lbs tho, so the lamb portion is nice for when we're not having a giant feast. And at $5/lb for the lamb vs $6-11/lb for beef, there's a pretty substantial savings.

A braise would have been overkill for these chops... the texture was a good match for a well marbled ribeye. It probably doesn't hurt that it's lamb season *g*.

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This may well have been covered elsewhere - but I'd like to know what I can do to roast/braise/well-cook! a boned lamb shoulder - twice now I've done this only to have the thing come out overdone and almost chewy! EEEEWWW - like my 2-year old says!

So, what tips, suggestions, cookbooks, receipes - for no fooling tender, moist, melt-in-your-mouth lamb can anyone suggest... Hurry Greek Easter is here in three weeks! (No spits or mint sauce allowed!)

T

Live and learn. Die and get food. That's the Southern way.

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When I roast lamb, I usually aim for medium to medium rare on the doneness. I don't think I've done a lamb braise yet, but until I found the university's butcher shop, I didn't have a source for anything but boned leg of lamb. I make the call on technique based on quality - if I think the carcass would have graded as top choice or even prime, I'd rather roast it. If I know it must be select or worse, it *will* get braised.

So if I were stuck with a low quality shoulder, I'd brown the outside on high heat til it was Very Rare. Then I'd cut the entire thing into bite size chunks. Then I'd turn it into some kind of stick to the ribs lamb stew. Maybe with red wine, or beer, or chiles and cocoa powder and browned flour... I'd almost say it's sinful to waste a higher quality piece of meat this way, but a good quality hunk of meat makes for a superlative stew.

If you've got a nice piece for roasting tho, just keep it simple and keep the meat on the rare side. Getting red meat roasts to come out rare isn't very hard, and they taste very good that way. It's also a low effort way to cook for a crowd. If you can do a good beef roast, you can do a good lamb roast; it just takes practice.

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Boned and possibly stuffed shoulder is very forgiving.

Hot oven (say 200C/400F) First hour is undercooked, second hour cooked, third hour overcooked, fourth hour eat something else.

If you and the best lamb you have ever eaten brown the outside in a hot pan on the stovetop and then cook it sous vide or in a VERY LOW (plate warming) oven at 55C/130F for 7 to 12 hours

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The merged thread is interesting.

As for lamb shoulder I'm with Jackel10. Long & slow is the way to go.

Don't bother to bone it. After 6-8 hours at 50-60 degrees C it just falls off the bone & all the fat has been rendered out.

In fact we had a shoulder last night since Bernard, our local sheep farmer, had delivered our half lamb Friday evening. Truly great milk fed lamb. Not a scrap left over!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think I want to make some sort of lamb stew this weekend. I'd like to keep it pretty simple with the ingredient list. Cooking in beer or wine is fine. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to score some lamb shoulder at Whole Foods. I've seen it there before, but can't recall if it was bone in or not. In either case, I really want a stew with chunks of meat instead of braising the shoulder whole. (this will be easier to handle as left overs, and maybe even to break down the lamb to make to make one batch of stew now, and another at a later date )

Any pointers or general guidance? Or a full recipe?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I think I want to make some sort of lamb stew this weekend...  Any pointers or general guidance?  Or a full recipe?

One of my favs is Julia Child's Navarin Printanier, or Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables. An adapted version of the recipe was printed in Saveur here: http://www.saveur.com/article.jsp?ID=16001&typeID=120 (Same ingredients list, different instructions.)

I never carve the potatoes, carrots, or turnips into ovals. (Are you kidding?) I cut them into bite-size chunks. But I do like to strain the sauce through a sieve (not a colander, as this recipe says) for a nicer presentation.

This stew is wonderful served with some good crusty bread.

Now that you've reminded me, I should make this stew again soon. :smile:

Edited by djyee100 (log)
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  • 3 years later...

Albert Idsøe is by many considered Norway's best butcher. Their business has been running since 1828, and is located in Stavanger, a port town in the south-west of the country. I'm fortunate enough to live close by, and frequent Idsøe as often as I can (and can afford...).

I'm planning on preparing a lamb shoulder confit this weekend (loosely based on Ramsay's Navarin of lamb recipe in his "3 star chef"), and purchased duck fat and a bone-in shoulder from Idsøe yesterday. The person helping me out asked me what my plans for the fat and shoulder were, and could tell me that Idsøe themselves also prepare confit of lamb, and sell it mostly to restaurants in town.

True enough, after some googling, I found an article written by Anders Viestad, a Norwegian food writer, about lamb shoulder confit: New Scandinavian Cooking: Lamb Confit. I'm really anxious to try it out this weekend! I think I'll deviate slightly from Viestad's suggested cooking time, by instead bringing the lamb and fat to a gentle simmer on the stovetop and then pop it in the oven for 4 - 6 hours instead.

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I just wanted to report back and say that the lamb confit was nothing short of spectacular! I've had my share of duck and pork belly confit, and I have to say that the succulent lamb shoulder confit ranks all the way up there with duck leg confit in my book.

In short, I boned and skinned the shoulder and rubbed it with coarse sea salt, crushed black pepper and thyme 12 hours prior to cooking. I used a lot less salt than what was suggested in the recipe linked to in my post above, and the final confit turned out just perfectly salted in my opinion. Thus, salt carefully and don't overdo it, is my advise.

The next day, rinse off the dry cure under cold, running water. Pat dry, roll up and tie into a log, put in oven-proof casserole, cover with duck fat and bring to a gentle simmer on the stovetop. Transfer to a 95dC oven and continue cooking until the meat is tender throughout, 3 - 5 hours. Let cool in fat.

When ready to proceed, remove meat from fat, use two forks to gently shred it, add pepper, salt and a few tablespoons of duck fat before placing the shredded meat on some cling film. Roll into a log and refrigerate to set the shape. To serve: Cut into 2 cm thick slices and brown each side in olive oil in a pan.

I served it this weekend as part of Ramsay's "Navarin of lamb" dish, where the confit is served together with loin of lamb, celeriac puree and buttered vegetables.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was browsing Elizabeth David's fantastic "French Provincial Cooking" last night, and noticed what looks to be a very interesting recipe for braised and grilled breast of lamb. I guess a shoulder of lamb would work equally well for this dish. The recipe is called Poitrine d'agneau Sainte Ménéhould, and I am wondering if anyone has tried it? The recipe is here (courtesy of Google Books).

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Hansjoakim, not long ago when dining out my dining companion ordered a braised lamb shoulder that was presented in exactly the same manner as the Ramsey dish you describe--deboned, rolled into a log, and presented as a thick slice on vegetables. It was madly delicious, and I spent some time wondering how it had been prepared.

This would be a spectacular dinner party dish. I'll give this a try. thanks!


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Hi Linda,

The lamb confit was really delicious; the flavour of lamb paired remarkably well with that of the duck fat. My guests really enjoyed having both the "cheap" cut of lamb shoulder and the more luxurious cut of filet of lamb on the same plate.

When poshed up like that, the shoulder was every bit as tasty and delicate as the filet. I'm actually planning on making the lamb confit once again this weekend. It can be a bit intense on its own, so I'm thinking about what I should pair it with... There's no lamb breast to be found around here this time of year (not until late July/early August according to my friendly local butcher), so I'm thinking perhaps putting together a plate with lamb confit, slices of rolled, braised lamb shoulder, some oven roasted tomatoes, potato puree and round slices of celeriac (cooked in the braising liquid).

Edited by hansjoakim (log)
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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Lamb shoulder, melon style.

Square cut Shenandoah lamb. Deboned, barded, trussed and gently roasted.

Square meal deal

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Fatback fever

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Sheeping Beauty never had such savory bedding

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Slamb dunk

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Not baaaaad.

I'm always impressed when I see that level of skill and care going into the preparation of a dish.

I've got a lamb shoulder on my new rotisserie set up outside. Pictures are coming . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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This was a frozen boneless lamb shoulder complete with mesh bag to hold it together. I coated it with rosemary, evoo, garlic, salt and pepper. I should have shoved some of these flavors into the roast or at least under the mesh because a fair bit fell off during the 1.5 hr roasting period. Next time I'll also put a clean foil pan underneath to fascilitate basting. The meat was very moist with lots of exterior crunch -- hard to acheive without a rotisserie. Served with boiled spuds, peas and fresh mint sauce from the garden.

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Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Those crusty bits! I am sure lots of them clung to the mesh and had to be peeled off and popped in the cook's mouth ;)

That would explain why I'm never as hungry as I should be when it's time to eat.

<Did I really put an s in facilitate? I'm lost without a spellckeck>

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 11 years later...

Due to a miscommunication at the farmers market, I need some help in adjusting a recipe that calls for bone-in lamb shoulder to use a boneless lamb shoulder roast.  

The recipe I want to make is pulled lamb shawarma from Falastin that uses a low, slow braise.  It calls for 2-2.5 kg bone-in lamb shoulder.  What I've got is a little baby 0.75 kg boneless roast and I'm sure it's a waste to use a boneless roast for this but I don't have anything else in mind. 

The recipe says that after an overnight marinade, it goes 4 hours, covered, @ 140°C/284°F, then 90 minutes more uncovered with the temp raised to 160°C/320°F) for the last 30 min. 

Are there temp targets I can use to gauge when to uncover and when it's done?

I'd appreciate any and all suggestions!

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