Chef John Umlauf was kind enough to share the lamb shoulder stew recipe he served at the Wise Traditions Conference, 2003.
This recipe is designed to use the whole lamb shoulder, which is easy to buy and hard to cut apart. That’s why we’re placing the entire piece directly into a Dutch oven or heavy, tightly-covered roaster and going from there. You can even use a crock-pot if it’s big enough. And just a note: no aluminum cookware, please, at any time.
You’ll be amazed at how tender the meat becomes, and how flavorful with no muttony taste! We’ll make a bone broth toward the end of the recipe, so you might want to start this recipe a day ahead to get a better broth.
We served this recently with fried polenta based on the recipe in Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions. It also goes great with good ol’ mashed potatoes or roasted new potatoes ‘cause the gravy is awesome.
Lamb Shoulder Stew
(1) Lamb Shoulder (5 to 7 lbs.)
(1) 22 oz. can of Tomato Puree
2 cups pure Water
One whole Lemon, washed
3/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp. Sea Salt (to taste)
2 lbs. Whole Carrots
1 lb. Whole Shallots
1/2 cup light Olive Oil
1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Garlic
1 oz. Fresh Thyme, stems removed
Preheat oven to 450º. Place lamb shoulder in Dutch oven or covered roaster.
Mix tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl or container. Trim the ends off the lemon, cut into sections, remove any seeds, chop finely in a food processor and stir into the above mixture.
Spread tomato mixture over the lamb; then pour the water into the bottom of the roasting pan. Cover tightly (use parchment and foil if you don’t have a tight-fitting lid). Place on middle rack in the oven and immediately turn down to 325º. Roast for 4 t0 5 hours. While meat is roasting, peel the carrots and shallots, cut the carrots into sections and toss both vegetables in a bowl with the olive oil. Spread the vegetables onto a tray and roast for about an hour in the oven with the meat or until tender. Set the roasted vegetables aside to cool.
When the meat is done it will almost fall off the bone. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Carefully lift the meat from the pan onto a large work surface where you will separate the meat from the bones and gristle. Place the separated sections of meat into a pan to cool and place all the bones, scraps and stock from the roaster into a stockpot. Add some pure water and simmer for up to 8 hours, skimming off some of the fat as you go. Strain and reserve to make your gravy. Stir in the garlic and thyme now to infuse their flavors fully.
You now have all the necessary ingredients to assemble the stew. Cut the cooled sections of meat into bite-sized chunks and add them to the broth with the roasted vegetables. Bring to serving temperature and adjust with salt and pepper to taste.