Rosemary Lamb Shoulder
Slow-roasted, fall-off-the-bone lamb shoulder is a beautiful thing.
Inspired by Italian recipes for lamb that often include making cuts in the meat and inserting slivers of garlic, I take a different approach here with the same flavors by piercing the meat all over with a paring knife and rubbing the marinade onto the meat, resting overnight before roasting in the oven. The next day, the lamb shoulder cooks low and slow at 250F for five hours until it’s fork tender and the meat is falling from the bone. After that, you carve pieces off and serve it like a roast.
Cooking in parchment
A little tip for roasting hidden in this recipe is using parchment to cook large pieces of lamb. There’s a number of recipes on this site that cook large pieces of lamb in the oven wrapped in parchment, for a reason.
Wrapping in parchment is almost magical: the meat cooks is cooked by steam trapped inside of the paper, gently cooking the meat to tender fall-off-the-bone perfection. But, unlike methods of cooking like cooking in a covered pot or pan, the meat will brown and crisp through the paper as it steams.
The finished shoulder makes a great centerpiece for a meal, especially for people who like their meat well-done. When I make them, I’m usually feeding 2 people, which means there’s some leftover for sandwiches the next day. To bring back the tender texture, warm up leftover slices of shoulder before eating.
I use a wet marinade with oil here, but other seasoning mixtures can work too. Here’s a few ideas.
- Marinate the meat in seasoned buttermilk using 3 tablespoons of salt for every 4 cups of buttermilk
- Add grated orange zest or citrus to the basic rosemary marinade after crushing in the mortar and pestle
- Use your favorite dry rub
- Brine the lamb using the brine from our smoked lamb ham
Other cuts you can use
This is a great thing to do with lots of the larger cuts from a lamb or goat. Here’s some other options. Ideally, you want a piece of meat on the bone. If you want something easier to carve, try the rolled breast–even though it doesn’t have a bone it works well too. Shepherd Song sells all of the cuts below.
- Whole legs
- Rolled breast
This recipe is by Chef Alan Bergo, the Forager Chef. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a culinary industry veteran, former chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora, he’s one of the most respected voices in the world of foraging and wild food. He’s best known as the founder of Forager Chef, his website focused on wild ingredients that reaches millions of readers each year. Learn more about Chef Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at foragerchef.com.
Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.
Smoked Lamb Stew with Sauerkraut (Butcher's Stew)
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 8 oz lamb sausage roughly 2 large sausages
- 1 lb lamb shanks
- 4 oz lamb bacon optional-you can omit it and substitute 2 tablespoons of cooking oil or lamb tallow for cooking the onion
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil or lamb fat
- 6 oz (1 large) yellow sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 32 oz (1 large can) whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 5 cups lamb stock or water in a pinch
- 6 oz sauerkraut preferably homemade
- Kosher salt to taste
- Wild rice white rice, noodles, or your favorite starch, for serving
- Roast the pepper over a burner until charred all over, then transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and allow to cool. Rinse the pepper, discarding the skin and seeds, dice the flesh into 1 inch cubes and reserve.
Smoked lamb shanks and sausage
- Season the lamb shanks with salt and pepper, then smoke at 250 F for 2 hours. Remove the shanks from the smoker, cut the meat from the bones and dice into chunks for soup. Reserve the meat and the bones.
- Cut the sausage into ½ inch coins (this is easier to do with pre-cooked or leftover sausage)
Building the stew
- Cook the bacon in the oil in a large soup pot with a roughly 1 gallon capacity until the fat has started to release and it's becoming crisp. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent, then add the shank meat and sausage, along with the roasted pepper and remaining ingredients.
- Cover the pot and cook for 1.5 hours or until the meat is fork-tender.
- Double check the seasoning for salt and pepper, adjust until it tastes good to you, then serve in bowls with wild rice or your favorite starch such as mashed potatoes, white rice, or noodles. Garnish with the sour cream with parley or dill and serve.