Monday, September 21, 2015

Rosemary & Thyme Braised Lamb Shoulder

I am finally starting to accept that fall is here. Less grilling and cold salads for dinner, more braising and casseroles. That's fine, because braising is actually pretty easy and not all that much work. Several months ago, SP saw lamb shoulder on sale at GEMD, so he bought one and put it in the freezer. It was time to pull it out and cook it.
There's still usable fresh rosemary & thyme on the deck plus we had some "need to be used up" carrots and onion. And lemon - we always have lemon and it's always a great flavor.
Smushed together lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, and black pepper. Rub it all over the lamb shoulder.
Then brown it. We used our Dutch oven. Lots of brown meat smell wafts around and smells so good. Saute the veggies. Then you need liquid for braising and wine is always a good choice:
Add liquid, cover, and cook in oven at 350 for 4 hours.
Remove the lamb and while it rests, add some flour and turn the braising liquid into a thick, delicious, herby gravy.
This gravy was so darn delicious. Lots of thyme and rosemary flavor plus chunks of carrot and onion.
Meanwhile, attempt to cut the lamb shoulder. It should be so tender it falls off any bones and easily shreds.
Like this, SP just lifting out a chunk of bone:
He pulled it apart with tongs and his fingers.
The lamb was so tender and juicy. It didn't need the gravy, but it's so much tastier with the gravy.
We ate this with some Mediterra bread to mop up the sauce plus steamed broccoli. Definitely a make again dish.
We were inspired by this recipe: Rosemary & Thyme Braised Lamb Shoulder, but here's how we did it:

about 3 lbs lamb shoulder
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
lemon zest (1/2~1 tbsp)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2~1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary plus 1 sprig
1/2~1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme plus 2-4 sprigs
about 1 cup chopped carrot
about 1 cup chopped onion 
1 & 1/4 cup dry white wine
1 & 1/4 cup water

Mix together salt, lemon zest, black pepper, rosemary, and thyme. Make some slits in the lamb shoulder. Rub the herb mixture all over the lamb. Add a little olive oil to a Dutch oven and sear the lamb. Remove browned lamb. Saute onion & carrots. Place lamb back in pot. Add wine, water, and fresh herb sprigs. Cover tightly and cook in 350 oven for 4 hours.

Transfer lamb to platter and cover with foil. Skim off fat from liquid remaining in pot. Remove herb sprigs. Whisk in about 1 tbsp flour until smooth and bring to a boil. Whisk until thickened. If desired, stir in additional fresh herbs (about 1/4 tsp each).

Slice/pull apart lamb and serve with gravy.

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