Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Braised Lamb shoulder with root vegetables

serves 4


  • Olive oil and canola oil for searing
  • 1 whole, bone in lamb shoulder (try to buy local)
  • 6 whole, peeled shallots, root end trimmed, but intact
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine
  • 5 tbspn chopped fresh thyme
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 4-5 dry mushrooms, such as porcini,shitake.(optional;these are a great thing to have around. They last in storage and add tons of flavor to soups, stocks and braises.)
  • 4 baby carrots, cut in half diagonally
  • 2-3 parsnips cut into similar size as your carrots
  • 4-6 grelot potatoes cut in half
  • 6 button or cremini mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh herbs
Preheat oven to 325

-Unpack shoulder onto a large cutting board and remove bone, clean and cut into portions. (You can also ask your butcher to do this for you just remember to ask him to keep the bone it will give lots of flavor to the braise)

- Once lamb is cleaned rub chopped thyme, and a generous amount of salt and pepper all over lamb, drizzling with a little olive oil to keep the seasoning on the lamb. The lamb can marinate this way for up to 12 hours, but the 15-20 minutes it will take you to prep your veggies and get ready to start your braise should be sufficient time for the lamb to temper and absorb the seasoning (meat doesn't like to go straight from the fridge to the heat source, always give it some time to warm up a little)

-Heat your creuset over high heat and sear all meat , including bone until well browned. See technique video for clear instructions ( watch video)

-Once all browned, add in whole shallots and cook over medium heat until well browned. Add garlic into the pan and pour in wine running your wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan to loosen browned bits.

- Add meat back into the pan and reduce wine by 1/2. Add just enough water to come to the level of the meat but not totally cover it. Bring to a boil, cover and place in oven for 1hr. 45min.

- Once time has elapsed, remove from oven and add seasoned vegetables, pressing down to submerge slightly in cooking liquid. Put back in oven for 30 mins. longer.

- When done remove all veg/meat from cocotte and reduce broth over med-high heat by 1/2.

Add fresh herbs,serve portions with sauce poured on top.

About the recipe:

For this recipe we chose to use a piece of beautiful Quebec lamb shoulder, to show you to not be intimidated buy buying larger pieces of meat. Buying in this way is not only more economical, but also assures quality because you get to see your meat whole and judge the quality your self.
That being said this recipe could be done with different meats as it is a basic one pot braise. Try it with osso-bucco, or veal shoulder, Lamb shanks or pre cubed lamb shoulder pieces would be a simple, delicious choice. Nice pieces of braising beef would be another great option and so would bone-in chicken tights. Any root vegetables can be used here also. We chose to use potatoes,carrots and parsnips but celery root, turnip or even beets could be delicious. As for the cooking method, if you do not have an oven proof caserole or creuset you could achieve the same results stovetop in a thick bottom pot over low heat, or started in pans stove top and finished in a crock pot on med-low.

Keep any left over meat for a delicious pasta!!!! (see recipe)

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