Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tasty Tuesday! GF Braised Lamb Shoulder

What a wild and crazy weekend we had for the end of August!!  Friday night was spent in a favorite pastime for my boys and I, bowling, which we don't do nearly enough of.  They are both under 10 so I am still enjoying cool dad status at this point and loving it.  My oldest is already taking the phrase "I know dad!" for a test drive so he's starting early.....Sigh!.....Lol. 

Friday night was filled with bowling and pizza, Saturday after lunch we had a family get together that took a good part of the afternoon, and Sunday we went to the lake with my oldest friend and his family, cooked, and then went out on his boat.  My friend tells me that I am welcome any and every time but I have to bring my Dutch Ovens!  He is a recent convert and we often get together and have large cookouts.  So I brought the ovens and made a big breakfast casserole with ham and homemade buttermilk biscuits.  After breakfast we cleaned up the dishes and the boys rode bikes around the campsite and made friends with all the kids in sight.  Their were other boys there very close in age to mine so everyone had a great time.

It's one of those weekends that was jam-packed, fun and super busy, but you have to come back to work just to rest!!  I had a lot of ingredients laid out for a Dutch Oven recipe but due to events beyond my control I am chair bound on this beautiful Tuesday with very little freedom to move, or wiggle for that matter.  I excercise regularly, lift weights and also walk about 3 times a week, at a brisk pace, usually 2 miles at a time to keep old age and gravity at bay.  I took the requisite walk last night and everything went fine until I got back home.  I was bent over slightly looking for something when my lower back tightened up on me for no obvious reason.  It has continued to tighten and frustrate until I have to move very carefully doing only that which is absolutely necessary.  I promise more Dutch Oven recipes in the coming weeks but I didn't feel up to the bending, lifting, and stirring today....

This week's post is another great recipe from Michael Fusco's Riverside Grill in Tulsa, OK.  As most of you know, Michael is a family friend, 5 * chef, and has a fantastic restaurant in Tulsa that amazes me everytime I eat there.  He holds cooking classes several times a year and gladly shares his fabulous recipes with all who attend.  This recipe is a Braised Lamb Shoulder that takes some time to prepare but is worth every minute!

For this recipe you'll need a large Dutch Oven or brazier--one that's big enough to accommodate the meat and stock, and safe for both stovetop and oven.  Make sure it has a tight fitting lid as well.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours


5 lbs boned, rolled shoulder of lamb, excess fat removed.

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

2 medium ribs celery, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped

1 cup canned tomato puree (or canned crushed tomatoes)

5 cups brown stock or lamb stock

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp dried thyme

3-4 fresh parsley stems

Lavender (wonderful aromatic)

6 whole black peppercorns

salt, to taste

1/2 cup rice flour

This recipe is excellent with Lamb shoulder but beef works very well also.  Shoulder, bottom round, shank, or any other large muscle would work well.  You want to trim off excess fat but leave the collagen on the meat.  When it is cooked in water over many hours, it breaks down to form gelatin, which is very nutritious.

You must have a large, heavy guage pot or Dutch Oven for this recipe. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a heavy, cast iron dutch oven or brazier, heat your oil over high heat, then add the lamb and sear it thoroughly, using a pair of tongs to turn it.  When a nice brown crust has developed on all sides of the meat, remove it from the pan and set aside.

Tip: To enhance the browning of the lamb, pat off excess moisture with clean paper towels before searing it.

Add the carrots, celery and onions to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is slightly translucent.

Return the lamb to the pot and add the tomato puree, stock and herbs.  Heat on the stovetop until the liquid comes to a boil, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer the whole thing to the oven.

Cook 4-5 hours or until the lamb is tender.

Remove pot from oven, take out the lamb and set it aside, covered, while you make the sauce.

You'll see a layer of fat on top of the braising liquid.  We're going to use this fat to make a roux for the sauce.  Skim off as much fat as you can, saving about a 1/4 cup of it.  You can discard the rest, as it would make the sauce too greasy.

Heat the fat in a separate saucepan, then gradually stir in the flour until a paste forms.  Heat for a few minutes, stirring until the roux is a rich brown color.

Return the remaining braising liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer and whisk in the roux.  Reduce for about 15 minutes, then strain through a fine mesh sieve and season to taste with Kosher salt.  Slice the lamb across the grain, arrange on warm plates, sauce generously and serve right away.

This dish was sooo good and I ate every bite!  Many people discard them but the leaves of the celery are very useful as aromatics, so leave them in!  You might wish to add small baby carrots as the larger ones can be bitter.


This post is part of the following blog carnivals.....Go check out these great sites!!

Monday Mania
Mouthwatering Mondays
Two for Tuesdays
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Tuesday Twister
Gluten-Free Wednesday
Pennywise Platter Thursday
Recipe Swap Thursday


Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist said...

JL Health, I am very hungry looking at this final picture. Absolutely mouth watering! Thank you for sharing with us at Monday Mania!

girlichef said...

Oh, I love it! I haven't had lamb in far too long...with autumn peeking around the corner, I could totally crave a meal like this daily!! YUMMY. Thanks for sharing it w/ t4t this week =)

J L Health 918-836-0565 said...

Sarah it was mouth watering! Thanks!!

I'm the same way Heather it had been a looong time since I've had it and it was great... Thanks!!


Christy said...

My husband grew up on lamb - I would love to make this for him! Yum!! thanks for linking to Two for Tues!

The Paper Princess said...

Thank you so much for joining me at Create With Joy! In spite of the fact that this week's cheesecake recipe is anything but healthy, lol, I have a strong interest in alternative health and nutrition, so I am happy to follow you back and look forward to reading your back and future posts!


Linda said...

That looks good. I've never been real fond of lamb, but maybe I should give it another shot.

J L Health 918-836-0565 said...

Christy, I'm sure he would love it! Thanks!

Ramona it was my pleasure to follow you. Dessert shouldn't always be healthy....it should be dessert! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Linda, I was the same way but this recipe was sooo good!

Butterpoweredbike said...

J - Why is it that backs tend to go for no obvious reason, instead of when you do something silly? Hope you're feeling better soon.

Thanks for bringing your recipe to T4T. I've been hankering for a big ole hunk of meat lately.

And, gotta say, love your last comment to Ramona! I couldn't agree more =)

Prairie Story said...

My husband loves lamb... but I confess I've never cooked it. Thanks for sharing today @ Prairie Story Recipe Swap.