It is time for cooking contest number three in the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival Lambs + Clams Original Recipe Contest. As with the first entry, this one involved a piece of Border Springs Farm lamb. I have to be honest, the leg of lamb that I used in the first contest didn’t wow me. I love lamb and I know several chefs around the country who swear by Border Springs Farm. I just didn’t get that slightly game, grassy flavor that I’ve gotten from other pasture-raised lamb in the past.
So when I received the lamb shoulder for this contest entry and I saw the beautiful fat cap and strips of fat between the upper ribs, I thought, perhaps I shouldn’t have boned-out that leg of lamb. This time I was going to go simple: not trim the meat at all, and stick with very few additional flavors, instead of adding all those herbs and spices (and pancetta) that I cooked the leg with. That proved to be an excellent idea, if I do say so myself, as the shoulder proved to be loaded with the taste of lamb I love.
You can see from these four photos the simple progression of this dish. It’s not a stew, though you could certainly create a stew from it. From the top (photo above), it’s a sear (see results below), deglaze and add cooking liquid, and then a slow braise (see last photo). I had a little Irish in my head when I made it, and you’ll see how it came out in the recipe below, so this served perfectly over mashed potatoes. But you could just as easily tweak the few additional flavors and serve the meat over couscous or rice. Enjoy!
The recipe follows after the photos. Please visit the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival Facebook page, click on the “Vote” tab and vote for me (voting begins on Wednesday, December 12, so please come back then). Thank you.
Also check out the other seven sites in the contest: