Lamb Shoulder

Crockpot Lamb ShoulderIn the day-to-day decision about what to make for dinner, there can be a tendency to get into a rut. You find yourself eating the same things over and over forgetting that there are flavorful options just waiting for you to give them a try. Lamb shoulder is one of those options.

Lamb shoulder comes from a part of the animal that gets a significant amount of work. This results in meat that has a lot of great lamb flavor but is typically not a tender cut. This means you need to cook lamb shoulder for a longer period of time. To sum it all up, lamb shoulder is a perfect choice for stewing, braising, or slow cooking. For maximum flavor, leave the shoulder on the bone when cooking so that the meat falls apart with a fork when done.

Lamb’s shoulder has the benefit of being a juicier cut than say, a leg of lamb. This means it is much more forgiving if you leave it in the oven a bit too long. You will still have a juicy roast.

There is no better candidate for a slow cooker than a lamb shoulder and it is a nice change of pace from the more popular pork version. Throw this recipe for Crockpot Lamb Shoulder with Rosemary and Garlic in your crockpot before work and come home to a gloriously tasty meal perfect for a chilly winter night.

Crockpot Lamb Shoulder with Rosemary and Garlic
Adapted from Recipe Tin Eats
Yields 4 servings

For the lamb
3.5 pounds lamb shoulder (bone-in)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 yellow onion, quartered (no need to peel)
1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally
3 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
8 sprigs rosemary
1 cup water

For the gravy
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups beef broth (or 1 cup red wine + 1 cup water)
Salt and pepper

For the Lamb Shoulder
Preheat your oven to 465° F.

Prep your lamb shoulder
Rub the lamb with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Using a thin, sharp knife, make 12 incisions in the lamb—as deep as you can but without piercing through the bottom of the lamb. Then stuff bits of rosemary and garlic slivers into the slices you just made.

Place the onion, halved garlic bulb, and rosemary sprigs in the base of the crockpot. Place the lamb on top. Then pour the cup of water all around. Cover with the lid and put the crockpot on low for 9 hours.

Allow the lamb to rest
Remove lamb shoulder from the crockpot and transfer it to a serving plate. Cover loosely with foil then a couple of tea towels and let it rest for at least 20 minutes.

For the gravy
Transfer the juices to a pan
Tilt the crock and use a spoon to remove all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat while trying to avoid scooping out any juices.

Pour the remaining juices, garlic, and onions from the crock into a saucepan. Place the pan on the stove over medium-high heat.

Mix the flour with the reserved fat and stir to combine. Add the flour and fat mixture to the saucepan. Cook the gravy for 30 seconds. Add the stock gradually while stirring to combine.

Use a potato masher to mash the onion and garlic, making sure that all the garlic squeezes out of the skin. Remove the skin and discard.

Simmer the gravy
Allow the gravy to simmer until it is just before your desired consistency (about 1 to 2 minutes). Take into consideration that it will thicken a bit as it cools. Then remove the gravy from the stove and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Strain the gravy into a serving bowl.

To serve
Serve the lamb with the gravy on the side. This dish is delicious with roasted root vegetables.

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