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November 15, 2011 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Best lamb shoulder recipe?

I've never cooked lamb before, but I picked up a lamb shoulder yesterday (refrigerated, not frozen, about 2 lbs). I plan on cooking it for dinner on Saturday night and have access to a gas oven, a crock pot, a stove top, and a small Weber charcoal grill (would prefer to not use the grill, but will if it's the best option).

What should I do with it?

And what are good side dishes to go along?

Our only allergies are to shellfish and we're not big fans of cheese (other dairy OK). Anything else goes.

posted by buckaroo_benzai to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Marinate in a little olive oil with fresh rosemary and sliced garlic. Grill or broil.
posted by Mchelly at 3:09 PM on November 15, 2011

Are you talking a steak or a roast?
posted by Foam Pants at 3:19 PM on November 15, 2011

I think it's a roast? It's the shape of a small American football.
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 3:25 PM on November 15, 2011

I immediately think of something middle eastern or Moroccan - lamb stew/tagine with golden raisins and apricots or lamb ragout with olives and peppers served with couscous flecked with cilantro, or even better this roasted cumin cauliflower. Yum.

If you're looking for something simpler, roasted lamb with garlic, oregano and topped with a squeeze of lemon is full of quintessential greek flavors, and could would be super easy with a classic greek salad, veggie kabobs, or a side like roasted vegetable orzo salad.
posted by moshimosh at 4:26 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

don't grill or broil lamb shoulder roast. It should be cooked low and slow. It has lots of connective tissue, but its really really delicious.

I like it just marinated and roasted, especially if it is is bone-in.

But it is also good cubed in stews, but def low and slow. Probably let it rest overnight in the stew so you can de-fat the whole thing.
posted by JPD at 4:28 PM on November 15, 2011

This warm shredded lamb salad with mint and pomegranate recipe from Nigella Lawson is ridiculously easy and incredibly delicious. It literally takes 5 minutes to prepare, then you leave it alone in the oven for a few hours. Also, the bulk of the fat will render off into the water. When I last cooked it, I served it with this summer squash couscous with pistachios and mint. I imagine a kale salad with balsamic and some ricotta salata would also go very well.
posted by superquail at 4:45 PM on November 15, 2011

Not a meat expert, but I'm not sure keeping it in the fridge for that long is a good idea (?anybody know more about this)?
posted by lulu68 at 5:29 PM on November 15, 2011

red meat lasts at least that long. Especially a roast like that. It might get a little oxidized on the outside but it won't spoil.
posted by JPD at 5:44 PM on November 15, 2011

My mother used to cut slits 2" long x 1" deep all over the roast. Then she rubbed it all over, including in the slits, with pepper and seasoned salt (Lowreys back in those dark ages) and stuffed the slits with pimento-stuffed green olives. When the roast was sliced, the thin slices of olive and pimento, along with the small amount of vinegar in the olives, gave a piquant contrast to the rich meat.

You could also use garlic cloves or anchovies to stuff the slits. The anchovies rolled around capers should be good.
posted by KRS at 6:31 PM on November 15, 2011

That's a small shoulder (unless it's been boned already). We tend to roast legs rather than shoulders in Australia; the shoulders can be quite fatty, and so they're either quickly grilled as chops (black on the outside, grey then red on the inside, and you chew on the fat and gristle and bones and you'll fuckin' enjoy it or else, cobber), or diced and used for casseroles and curries.

Here's a slow roasted shoulder recipe, with the meat seasoned with cumin then put in a warm salad. Here's another with the shoulder butterflied then grilled - I really like shoulder this way, stuffed into Lebanese bread with hummus, tabbouleh, mint and tomatoes.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:37 AM on November 16, 2011

A bit late, but I like to cut shoulder into chunks (1 inch or smaller) and make stew. Usually lamb, potatoes and mushrooms. The lamb needs a long time to cook, so I usually flour some chopped onions, brown the lamb, the remove, and sauté the onions in the lamb drippings. Add the lamb back, and first liquid is usually guinness. The potatoes go in half an hour before its done, any earlier and they'll be too soft. I sauté the mushrooms seperately with the same spice blend as the stew, the add the shrooms and pan juices to the stew. Serve with biscuits.

For the flavors, roasted garlic, black pepper, rosemary and thyme are nice, but you could skew more to a chili or curry style stew as well.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:39 AM on November 17, 2011

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