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Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Browned Almonds

 Roast lamb was once Australia’s national dish, lamb roasted in the English style with the vegetables sizzling in the pan drippings around the joint. The ubiquitous Anglo Aussie Sunday roast always well cooked, with spuds and pumpkin and peas, served smothered in pan juice gravy and mint sauce, a dish that would take you home to your Mum.

Roast lamb was and still is popular because it’s delicious. Aussie lamb is of a very high quality. It spends it’s entire life free ranging on grass or salt bush and goes to market before it reaches one year old, while it can still officially be labelled lamb and command a good price.

A deboned leg of lamb roasted in the charcoal barbecue is a family favourite, cooked in 40 minutes, on the table in an hour, an impressive meal I can pull off without batting an eyelid, but on a lazy Sunday, with nothing better to do than hang around the house I will slow roast a lamb shoulder, on the bone for six hours. The house fills with the delicious smell which has you salivating for hours.

I intended to six hour roast this whole shoulder of lamb when I bought it, then Paula Wolfert’s Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Browned Almonds caught my eye, another recipe to contribute to The Cookbook Guru

You need to plan ahead and begin this dish the day before serving. The first step is to make a spiced butter to rub onto the joint then after a brief rest, the lamb, with a few aromatics is braised over a low heat on the stove top for three hours. After chilling the meat and skimming the stock, the dish is finished the next day.

Breaking the meat into chunks after it’s been chilled gives you the chance to discard all the internal fat. The meat is then browned until well caramelized. Wolfert advocates using liberal amounts of butter, but a tiny amount in a well seasoned cast iron pan worked well for me. The meat is then glazed with an unctuous sauce made by reducing the braising juices.

I served the fall apart glazed lamb on a bed of lemony pilau with some steamed veg.

I made a number of changes to the method, it just happened that way, but the end result was delicious anyway. I adjusted and adapted the ingredients to fit my smaller shoulder of lamb and my dietary guidelines.

Would I make this dish again? I’d certainly use the cooking method again, the meat was incredibly moist and not at all fatty and you would never have suspected it was reheated, but in hindsight I’d save my expensive saffron for a more subtly spiced dish.

Here’s my recipe, closely adapted from_

Paula Wolfert’s Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Browned Almonds.

1 shoulder of lamb, bone in

1 pinch of saffron stamens

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon hing

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 teaspoons sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teas ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground chillis

2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter

2 cinnamon stick

a small bunch of coriander leaves and roots

a small bunch of garlic chives

1 litre of vegetable stock

1/2 cup blanched almonds

extra butter

Trim all the external fat from the lamb.

Light toast the saffron until brittle then grind it to a powder with the salt.

Make a spice paste with the softened butter, the saffron salt and the remainder of the spices.

Smear the lamb with the spice paste and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Put the spiced lamb into a heavy based, lidded casserole dish.

Add the herbs, cinnamon stick  and stock, then enough water to bring the level half way up the side of the lamb.

Bring the casserole to the boil, cover the meat closely with sheet of baking paper, cover the dish then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Braise the meat for 3 hours basting it every 1/2 hour or so.

Remove the meat from the stock being careful to keep the meat on the bone. Wrap tightly in foil and chill overnight.

Strain the stock and chill.

The next day, about 30 minutes before serving, brown the almonds in a little oil, drain on a square of kitchen paper and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 120C.

Skim the fat from the sauce, then reheat until simmering.

Break the lamb into large pieces discarding any fat.

Heat a 1 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan then brown the lamb on all sides in the butter.

As a crusty residue forms on the base of the pan add a little sauce, allow it to sizzle then spoon it over the meat.

Continue adding sauce to the pan and basting the meat until the meat is beautifully glazed.

Transfer the meat to an ovenproof platter and keep warm in the oven.

Add the remaining sauce to the pan and reduce until thick enough to coat a spoon.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Arrange the meat on a bed of lemony pilau or couscous, spoon over a little sauce and scatter the fried almonds on top.

Serve at once with the remaining sauce on the side.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

35 comments on “Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Browned Almonds

  1. Pingback: My Top Ten Recipes for 2015 | Please Pass the Recipe

  2. marymtf
    April 30, 2015

    Brings back pleasant memories of the Sunday roast, only minus the lemony pilau. 🙂 Nice.

    Like

  3. Leah
    April 27, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Cookbook Guru and commented:
    Lady Red Specs has shared another delightful dish from Paula Wolfert’s The Food of Morocco with this slow cooked lamb shoulder. Sounds absolutely perfect for us in the southern hemisphere as the colder months of the year decend on our homes.

    Happy Reading and Happy Cooking,

    Leah

    Like

  4. Tastyniblets
    April 26, 2015

    Looks delish!

    Like

  5. chef mimi
    April 21, 2015

    This looks and sounds so so good!!!

    Like

  6. Karen
    April 21, 2015

    My husband and I both love lamb and this is definitely a new way to prepare it. The lamb looks delicious.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 21, 2015

      It was new to me too Karen. It was deliciously succulent and well worth the effort.

      Like

  7. Glenda
    April 20, 2015

    Sandra, I am just getting around to reading my back log and I noticed your post. I did think about doing this recipe but never got around to it. Your sounds and looks wonderful.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 20, 2015

      Hi Glenda, hope you enjoyed your holiday. We just loved this lamb, in fact I’m planning to make it again this weekend. I think you’d like it

      Like

  8. Gather and Graze
    April 16, 2015

    I can imagine how wonderful this must taste Sandra! Funny, I usually slow-cook a lamb shoulder similar to you (6 hrs is creates that pull-apart with the fork type tender) and as lovely as that is, I often prefer the taste of the meat the following day when I re-heat the meat and add a few Middle-Eastern spices to make Lamb Wraps/Kebabs. The meat gets a gorgeous crispiness and flavour to it, that I imagine must be a little like this dish. I’ll be trying this recipe for sure! Thanks, M

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 16, 2015

      The lamb definitely had a fuller flavour Margot, much tastier. I’m a convert to this method of reheating slow cooked lamb shoulder!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. anne54
    April 15, 2015

    My Fella loves it roast lamb in the traditional way, and it is always delicious. However, I do love your recipe and will give it a try soon. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 15, 2015

      I think lamb this way will be a hit too, it was here! Enjoy…

      Like

  10. Michelle
    April 15, 2015

    Delicious! I think shoulder is the best cut of all when properly done.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 15, 2015

      I agree, you just need to find ways to manage the fattiness. This method was excellent!

      Like

  11. Main St. Cuisine
    April 15, 2015

    We love lamb and don’t make it nearly enough, especially for my husband’s taste. This would make a perfect Sunday supper. Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  12. tinywhitecottage
    April 15, 2015

    It’s only 7 in the morning and I sat here longing for that aroma to be wafting through the house! I absolutely love slow cooked meat and although I have had the most incredible lamb in Greece I have never tried to pull it together myself. It’s Spring and still very cold and I’m on Spring break (staycation) so I think I will give this a try. What size shoulder do you think I’ll need for the 3 of us? Thank you Sandra!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 15, 2015

      Hi Seana, a shoulder around the 1kg, 2 pounds on the bone should satisfy you. Have a restful break from work, and enjoy the lamb.

      Like

      • tinywhitecottage
        April 15, 2015

        Oh perfect. Thank you for your response. 🙂 I’m going out tomorrow to pick one up.

        Like

  13. cheergerm
    April 14, 2015

    Love the idea of a less fatty lamb, this looks delicious Mrs R! (Then, all of your food does.) ☺️

    Like

  14. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    April 14, 2015

    Super! I wish now that I had done this for our Easter dinner. Do you think slow cooking it in my clay pot in the oven would do the same trick as the braising on top of stove? Like the idea of discarding all that lamb fat.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 14, 2015

      I think it would work well Debi. The only thing is that you wouldn’t want to let the braising liquid reduce too much. Mal has requested I make this for friends when they come for dinner next week, he just loved it. The meat was tender, moist and lean

      Liked by 1 person

      • Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
        April 14, 2015

        The clay pot is designed to keep the moisture in. Often I have too much and have to reduce the sauce. So…I think this will work. Lamb shoulder is on the shopping list!

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        April 14, 2015

        Enjoy….

        Like

  15. A Home Cook
    April 14, 2015

    I grew up in the wheat-sheep belt of Australia. Lamb once cost $2 a side and it was the cheapest meat to feet a family on. Hard to imagine that now.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 14, 2015

      Indeed! I remember those days too. Lamb is still our very favourite meat, no matter the cost!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eha
        April 15, 2015

        Sheesh!! Please, could we have that time back!! I am so trying to cook my very favourite meat, going down and down and down in the price range and almost losing the plot to the almighty dollar!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Sue
    April 14, 2015

    This sounds most tasty!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 14, 2015

      It’s a fab way to cook lamb Sue, going to try just rosemary and garlic next!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue
        April 14, 2015

        I love Rosemary and garlic with lamb! And sherry and garlic, pot roast for about 3-4 hrs….meltingly tender…

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        April 14, 2015

        Thanks for the sherry tip! 😃

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 14, 2015 by in FODMAP diet, Food, Gluten Free, Lamb, Main Meals, The Cookbook Guru and tagged , , , , .
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