Cut highlight: Boneless Lamb Shoulder

The weather is starting to cool down, and to me that means it’s coming into roast season.  I love a good roast on a cool fall night for dinner. One roast that I especially enjoy is a lamb shoulder, boneless, slow cooked - in a crock pot, braised in the oven, or even stewed.  The lamb shoulder has great flavor thanks to all of the fat that is stored in the shoulder muscles of the lamb.

There are three major bones that are removed to create this roast; the shoulder blade, neck & rib bone, and the arm bone.  Because the bones are large and running in different directions, it's beneficial to remove the bone in order to be able to slice it up nicely after it has cooked.  A wet braising method will gently break down the ligaments and tendons that hold the muscle together, resulting in a tender meat that can pull apart easily.  You can season the shoulder with strong flavors like garlic, wine, and herbs and the flavor of the meat can stand up to those flavors thanks to lamb’s distinct taste.  


Braised boneless lamb shoulder:

One whole boneless lamb shoulder

3 cloves of garlic

1 medium yellow onion

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme

1 cup red wine

3 cups of stock

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Chop the herbs roughly

Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees

Get our your cast iron dutch oven with a lid

Heat up the pan on medium high heat and coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil

While your pan is heating chop the garlic and onion into a rough mince

When your pan is hot, add the garlic and onion and stir for a minute or two 

Remove the onions and garlic and let the pan get very hot again. Take your lamb shoulder and put it into the pan top-side down (the top side is the side that was not cut open to remove the bone)

Brown this side of the lamb shoulder for about 4 minutes then flip and begin browning the underside for another 4 minutes

When the time has passed pour in your cup of wine - this is called “deglazing” the pan. Add the onions and garlic back in.

Stir the wine around and get all of the bits of browned lamb off the bottom of the pan for a few seconds, then add the stock

Place the lid on the pan and put into your oven for 2-3 hours

Serve by removing the shoulder onto a chopping board and slice

If you wish, you can make a gravy from your braising broth by straining the liquid and making a roux in your pan with butter and flour, add the liquid back and cook down to thicken for about 5 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes and greens for a hearty fall meal