Cooking Grass-Fed Lamb

I recently bought some grass-fed lamb shoulder roast from Whitestone Farm and it was a good opportunity this time out to share a post on cooking grass-fed-lamb. My post on cooking grass-fed beef which garnered a nice response from friends and family (via comments, Facebook, email and even phone) seemed to spark a lot of curiosity. And that’s cool because when I hear about a good meal, I get just as curious too.

Cooking Grass-Fed Lamb Shoulder Roast

Having Puerto Rican roots, my favorite family festive dinner at home was always a pernil, which is a slow-cooked garlic-poked pork shoulder roast. Having made pernil many times myself, I wondered if I could do the same thing with a lamb shoulder roast. A quick Google search later and my intuition was confirmed in this post over on Chowhound.

Lamb shoulder roast

So to make this like a pernil, you put a bunch of 1 inch slits all over the meat for the mixture to penetrate. Here I used garlic, lemon juice, fresh rosemary, sage, salt, pepper and massged it all over the roast and into the slits.

I seared the lamb roast on all four sides at about 3-4 minutes each side. Then set the meat aside and deglazed the pan with hot water. You could also use chicken broth or some white wine here.

Browning up the lamb on all sides

After scraping up all the rich caramelized goodies off the bottom of the pan with the liquid, I placed some celery in the bottom of the pan. This would help keep the lamb raised up a bit off the bottom. Doing this is not absolutely necessary but a little celery flavor for the sauce is always nice.

Then I put the lamb roast fat side up into the oven at 425° F for about 10-15 minutes with the lid off. After that I turned the temperature down to 250° F and put the lid back on. Every hour I basted the lamb in it’s juices and checked it to see if it was getting fork tender.

Fork tender and falling apart

After a little over 3 hours it was up to the proper internal temperature of 190° F and you could easily pick it apart with a fork. I guess slow-cooking at a pound an hour is the rule here as the lamb roast was 3 lbs.

The plated result…

I simmered the remaining liquid from the pan to reduce it and added a beurre manié to finish the sauce. The grass-fed lamb shoulder roast had slow-cooked away all it’s desires for a knife. The lamb was moist but not juicy. It was buttery and rich, but not fatty at all. The mushroom risotto paired very well with it’s sweet hints of white wine and creamy texture. Once again to my inner joy, high fives around the table. Little conversation and lots of yummy sounds – exactly what the cook wants to hear.

I think that there are lots of folks who would buy grass-fed meats more regularly for all the health benefits but they don’t necessarily feel comfortable cooking it.

Ok, what are you waiting for?


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