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Slow braised mountain lamb shoulder recipe

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Adjust Servings:
2 sprigs Rosemary
5 sprigs Thyme
10 whole Peppercorns
10 Juniper Berries
1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds
3 tablespoons Hazelnuts
2 lb 3 oz (1 kg) Lamb shoulder or leg of lamb without bones
12 young cloves Garlic
3 Tomatoes
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 lb 10 oz (750 g) small Potatoes
1 lb 2 oz (500 g) Celery
1–2 tablespoons small Olives with pit (such as from the Alpine regions in Nizza or Taggiasca olives from Liguria)
½ Lemon Juice
freshly ground Salt and pepper

Slow braised mountain lamb shoulder recipe

  • 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Medium




The adage “good things are worth waiting for” also holds true in the kitchen. There are many recipes whose secret to success is giving them time, but you’ll be rewarded with a new taste experience in the end. There are many well-known sheep breeds that are primarily raised in the Alps: various Sisteron lamb from the Provence Alps, Jezersko–Solcava sheep in Carinthia, or the Alpines Steinschaf in the northern Alps. And of course, the recipe tastes good with any grass-fed lamb.



Preheat the oven to 280°F (140°C). Pick rosemary and parsley leaves from the stem and chop coarsely. Grind in a food chopper with the peppercorns, juniper berries, and fennel seeds. Add the hazelnuts and coarsely crush. Pat the lamb dry using paper towels and trim down large pieces of fat. Butterfly the lamb, then sprinkle with the spice mixture and salt. Roll the lamb together and bind with kitchen twine. Peel the garlic and coarsely chop the tomatoes.


Heat olive oil in a roasting dish or oven-safe frying pan and sear the lamb until golden brown on each side. Add the garlic and tomatoes and place the covered lamb on the second oven rack from bottom and braise for about 3 hours.


In the meantime, scrub or peel the potatoes and chop the celery into 1¼–1½ in (3–4 cm) long pieces. After an hour, add them to the meat and season with salt and pepper. Occasionally check if there is enough liquid in the roasting dish and add a bit of hot water, if necessary. After 2 hours baking, add the olives to the meat and then braise for about one more hour.


Remove from oven and cut away the kitchen twine. Let the lamb rest for 10 minutes, then slice. Season the sauce with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve the lamb with the potatoes, braised vegetables, and sauce.


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