Braised Lamb Shoulder RecipeFor this braised lamb recipe you'll need a large Dutch oven or brazier — one that's big enough to accommodate the meat and stock, and safe for both stovetop and oven. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid, too.
Braising is a form of moist-heat cooking that breaks down connective tissues in tough cuts of meat, leaving them tender and succulent. Also check out this video on how to braise meat.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours
- 5 lbs boned, rolled shoulder of lamb, excess fat removed
- ¼ cup canola oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
- 1 cup canned tomato puree (or canned crushed tomatoes)
- 5 cups brown stock or lamb stock
- -------- For Sachet: --------
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 3-4 fresh parsley stems
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 300°F (150°C).
- Make a sachet by tying the thyme, peppercorns, parsley and bay leaf into a piece of cheesecloth.
- In a heavy, cast-iron dutch oven or brazier, heat the oil over high heat, then add the lamb and sear it thoroughly, using a pair of tongs to turn it. When a nice brown crust has developed on all sides of the meat, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
TIP: To enhance the browning of the lamb, pat off excess moisture with clean paper towels before searing it.
- Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic to pot and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until the onion is slightly translucent.
- Now return the lamb to the pot and add the tomato puree, stock and the sachet. Heat on the stovetop until the liquid comes to a boil, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer the whole thing to the oven.
- Cook 4-5 hours or until the lamb is tender.
- Remove pot from the oven, take out the lamb and set it aside, covered, while you make the sauce. You can throw away the sachet — its work is done.
- You'll see a layer of fat on top of the braising liquid. We're going to use this fat to make a roux for the sauce. Skim off as much fat as you can, and save about ¼ cup of it. You can discard the rest, as it would make the sauce too greasy.
- Heat the fat in a separate saucepan, then gradually stir in the flour until a paste forms. Heat for a few minutes, stirring, until the roux is a rich brown color.
- Now return the remaining braising liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer and whisk in the roux. Reduce for about 15 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with Kosher salt.
- Slice the lamb across the grain, arrange slices on warm plates, sauce generously and serve right away.
Also check out this video on how to braise meat.