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Lamb Shoulder

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    Lamb Shoulder

    I buy a lot of bulk meat from a nearby farm. I get it hog at a time 1/4 cow at a time. This year I got a lamb too. Two days ago I thawed some lamb chomps, did a bit of salt and herbs, then seared them cold grate style on my Jumbo Joe. This is the sort of cook that I can throw together at will now and somehow something so simple produced, by far, the most delicious lamb I have ever consumed. Part of it was the technique but part is that this lamb is vastly superior to the bits and pieces I have picked up at supermarkets.

    The problem I face now is that while I love experimenting, the idea of screwing up any of this meat worries me. I feel like doing so would be an affront to whatever food god is responsible for bestowing deliciousness in smoked meats and I do not think it wise to incur the wrath and scorn of such a deity.

    With a whole lamb I have a collection, aside from all the ground lamb (gyros coming!), a lot of bone-in cuts. I have two French racks, some lamb ribs (which appear to be like beef short ribs), shanks, legs, and... shoulder. I have four shoulder roasts.

    Now, my experiences with meaty shoulders are good experiences. Slow cooks, time, smoke, and seasoning yields products that on occasion earn me a reputation for being something of a meat smith and a smoke wizard. I am happy with these distinctions. However, lamb shoulder is new to me and, if some of you have experience, I'm wondering if I should treat it like beef shoulder or what modifications I should try. (Also, keep in mind, these lamb roasts are small compared to a huge pork shoulder.)

    This recipe from Weber implies I can pretty much treat it like pork shoulder: https://www.weber.com/AU/en/recipes/...er-199891.html

    Although this recipe calls itself "slow roasted" it appears to be more of a hot'n fast cook: https://www.recipetineats.com/slow-r...lamb-shoulder/ (the pan gravy with the roasted garlic has me intrigued).

    So, lovers of lamb, what say you in terms of lamb shoulder? Can I just slow roast one of these little roasts for 8 hours and expect good results? Will the hot'n fast method work all right?

    #2
    Not a lamb expert by any means, but if it's true lamb and not an older sheep, my thinking is that it isn't that tough and you can get away with a faster cook.

    By the way, don't sell yourself short. I've done plenty of experimenting and rarely do I get something so wrong that we can't eat it.

    Comment


      #3
      Ha. Typically I can recover these days.

      The hardest thing to recover from is burned or dried out. The latter is my biggest concern going low and slow.

      These were sold as true lambs and the mild flavor compared to what I am used to implies that’s true. Whatever it’s delicious. Maybe I roll with hot and fast on the first try, especially since patience is not my thing.

      Comment


        #4
        I went way off script just because... and the results might not be everyone's cup of tea (lamb doesn't appear to be anyway) but at least part of this turned into what I can only describe as the single most delicious 2-4 bites of meat I have ever tasted. In the pictures, you'll see a shoulder bone. The meat around this socket was... unreal.

        I started with a pair of lamb shoulder roasts—about 3.5 lbs a piece and dry-brined overnight. Nothing special there.

        The next day I thick sliced a couple onions and two heads of garlic, added some olive oil, pepper, and rosemary and put them in the roaster pan. I then rubbed the lamb with olive oil, added pepper and rosemary. No real rub. I just kinda... sprinkled. It's Sunday and I'm really lazy.

        I was originally gonna roast this thing for 3-3.5 hours at 325ºF but the fire I made in my kettle was not interested in going much higher initially than about 285ºF so... whatever. Did I mention it's Sunday and I'm lazy?

        I ended up putting the roaster pan in the kettle. It ended up in there around 4.5 hours with the last 30 minutes at a higher 325ºF - 340ºF. (I added some hot coals.) Also, if anyone is interested, I smoked this with some pecan a decision that did not sadden me at all.

        What I ended up with were a pair of roasts that were delicious. The texture was interesting. It wasn't velvet pull-apart like a pork shoulder that's been cooking for 18 hours, that's for sure. It was basically like an entire roast that was chewy like a good, meaty rib and I must admit, I really, really enjoyed that combination in conjunction with a most excellent crust.

        I winged the sauce. I took the onions that weren't too charred, the garlic, and the fat, popped them in a sauce pot with about a half cup of red wine and a half cup of water. Added a generous amount of salt and pureed with an immersion blender. I am not sad about this "gravy" either. Haha. Not sad at all.

        Pictures are attached in no particular order.

        What I have learned is that the next time I do a large meat order, I am getting another whole lamb. It tastes so much better than anything I have grabbed form a super market and getting to play with all these "weird" cuts has been fun. (Also, I ate too much. I was bad. Haha.)
        Attached Files
        Last edited by binarypaladin; April 19, 2020, 08:42 PM.

        Comment


        • Thunder77
          Thunder77 commented
          Editing a comment
          Looks fantastic!

        • theroc
          theroc commented
          Editing a comment
          oh my

        #5
        Also, I wanna just give a shout out the Drip'N Griddle pan with the SNS. These two items really rock. I have been using them for about two years now. The initial price tag was a little high—or, I mean, it felt higher than I had ever spent on anything grill related as they cost more than my kettle—but they're worth it. The SNS was cool, but the pan was the part I was like, "Is this really worth it?" The answer, by the way, is "totally."

        Comment


          #6
          Looks delicious. I would say you nailed that one just about right.

          Comment


            #7
            Love eatin lamb ad is excellent smoked. For me I prefer to slow smoke the shoulders to welll done but on the hind legs just to med rare 135-140f...Thanks for sharing...

            Comment


            • texastweeter
              texastweeter commented
              Editing a comment
              exactly. The shanks get the ossobucco treatment.racks get cut into chops.

            • binarypaladin
              binarypaladin commented
              Editing a comment
              Since I got a whole lamb... I have two whole hind legs and there's a high probability that's what I try out next!

            #8
            I would eat that

            Comment


              #9
              looks fantastic my friend. Isn't it great when you just wing it, and realize we kinda know what we are doing?

              Comment


                #10
                Wife and I love lamb. Had a leg for Easter. Your shoulder looks great. Pecan is an excellent choice for your wood.

                Comment


                  #11
                  When I cook lamb shoulder I cook it like a Boston Butt. I like lamb shoulder, but it is so darn expensive.

                  Comment


                  • LA Pork Butt
                    LA Pork Butt commented
                    Editing a comment
                    binarypaladin the ones I did were pretty small. I doubt whether they were very much more than 3.5 pounds if at all. I cooked them at 225 on a BGE and took them to 200 internal. I don’t recall using a water pan, but because of your concern I would. I didn’t think they were dry. They were a pleasant surprise, because I didn’t care much for lamb chops I had in a restaurant.

                  • LA Pork Butt
                    LA Pork Butt commented
                    Editing a comment
                    https://pitmaster.amazingribs.com/me...-binarypaladin Also, I think I cooked one on my son’s 26” Weber and I am sure I used a water pan on that one.
                    Last edited by LA Pork Butt; April 20, 2020, 07:13 PM.

                  • binarypaladin
                    binarypaladin commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Good to know! I don’t think I have ever really dried out anything low’n slow. If ribs aren’t dried out after 6 hours why should a roast dry out?

                  #12
                  The next time I try this I'm gonna roll low'n slow. Impatience and laziness very two big factors here. The chewy texture was ultimately to my liking. It was definitely well done though—internal hit around 185ºF when I took them off the fire.

                  I know I can do much better too, but... it's the cinnamon rolls I made the other day. They weren't perfect. I learned a lot. They were also some of the best rolls I ever ate, haha.

                  Comment


                  • Ahumadora
                    Ahumadora commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Take the shoulder or fatty bits to 203/205. Just make sure took keep it moist and wrap the shanks or thin parts.
                    Last edited by Ahumadora; April 20, 2020, 12:52 PM.

                  #13
                  Save the bones for bone broth/stock. Seriously fantastic depth.

                  Comment


                  • binarypaladin
                    binarypaladin commented
                    Editing a comment
                    This is a given for all bones. Making my own broth changed the way I feel about soup.

                  #14
                  I like to braise lamb shoulders.

                  Comment

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