Braised Lamb Shoulder

Braised Lambs



I’m not going to pretend that I’m all about clean eating. I’m all about pretty food, and I’m all about pretending that I’m a chef in my kitchen. Which is where this came from. The plating, no matter how much it will make people cross their eyes, is something that I love, and that Mr. Houseful got a kick out of. This is the third installation of our Valentine’s dinner series, and while the kids didn’t get a plate this pretty (I still cut their lamb up, and skipped out on wrapping pickled onions around their carrots – because – touching food) they did enjoy the meal as well. These are braised lamb shoulder, and this just may be the favorite cut of lamb that I’ve had. I mean, lamb chops are a gift from heaven, but shoulder?! Magnificent! 

This creation was also done in one of my dutch ovens (a red one – one of these days I REALLY have to introduce you all properly to my dutch oven love) and used lots of different things to flavor, and I didn’t have to go on a wild goose chase to get them. I did pick my lamb up from Whole Foods, and while pricey, I knew that I was getting a great cut, and it was fresh. The recipe that I used suggested cutting it into chops beforehand, but the Whole Foods butcher advised against it, so I went with his suggestion. I may try it the original way sometime later, but I wasn’t disappointed with the way that it came out. One thing that I DO need to keep on hand is dry white wine. EVERYTHING calls for it that I want to cook, and I don’t drink it. 

Braised Lamb

The general consensus was that the meat was tender and flavorful – not as gamey as our lamb chops normally are (which we don’t mind) but a perfect melody of the ingredients used to infuse flavor. I enjoyed cooking this, and may just feature it for a certain someone’s birthday dinner. 

It was suggested that I pair this with pita bread and tzatziki sauce (both homemade of course) but I ran out of time, and wanted folks to eat at a reasonable time. 

Do you like lamb? What cut? Do you think that you could try this? 

Braised Lamb Shoulder

Braised Lamb Shoulder


  • Ingredients
  • 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into 8 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 orange, with peel, cut into pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 14.5- oz. can peeled whole tomatoes
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Instructions
  2. Heat oven to 325°. Pat lamb dry; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Cook lamb, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 6–8 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  3. Add fennel, onion, and garlic to same pot and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and softened, 6–8 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, 6–8 minutes.
  4. Add orange, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, tomatoes, and broth along with lamb to pot. Bring to a simmer, cover pot, and transfer to oven. Braise until lamb is fork-tender, 1½–2 hours. Transfer lamb to a clean plate.
  5. Strain cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; return to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thick and velvety, 20–30 minutes.

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