Braised Shoulder of Lamb Recipe | Cook the Book


Editor's note: Our friend and Serious Eater Cathy, who praised this week's Cook the Book selection on Monday, is back with thoughts on today's recipe, which ends our dance with Beyond Nose to Tail. But it doesn't have to end there for you. We're giving away copies of the book. Enter to win here. —The Serious Eats Team

Like a great chocolate mousse, this dish is all about the quality of the main ingredient, so I bought a bone-in shoulder from Karen Weinberg of 3-Corner Field Farm. As Fergus Henderson would say, this was a happy lamb.

The recipe couldn't be simpler: peeled whole shallots and garlic cloves, browned in a little oil; a "bundle of joy" (thyme and rosemary sprigs) laid on top, followed by the shoulder; some light chicken stock, a little white wine, and ample salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and park it in a gentle (325°F) oven for about three hours.

The result is fork-tender meat, melting shallots and garlic, and a light yet savory jus. I served it with roasted Golden Nugget potatoes; a salad of wild arugula, romaine, and sherry vinaigrette; and a soft, fruity New Zealand pinot noir.

Next time, I might add a salsa verde or some other sprightly accompaniment. I don't think Fergus would mind.



  • 1 shoulder of lamb, on the bone
  • 20 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 20 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • A splash of olive oil
  • A bundle of thyme and rosemary
  • 1/2 bottle of white wine
  • 1 liter light chicken stock
  • Sea salt and black pepper


  1. In an oven tray deep and wide enough to house your shoulder of lamb, brown the shallots and garlic in oil. Lay the bundle of joy in the pan and put the shoulder of lamb on top. Pour on the white wine and stock. Season the shoulder liberally.

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