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Unread 05-23-2013, 11:56 AM   #1
hominamad
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Default Lamb shoulder on the kettle - first timer tips?

I'm having guests over this weekend and thinking about trying out a slow roasted lamb shoulder on my kettle. Never done this cut before. Was planning on an overnight marinade in a simple yogurt/garlic/herb mixture. Then roasting over indirect for a few hours.

Does anyone have any tips to impart? Some things I'm not sure about: should I keep it covered for part of the cook to let it braise in its juices a bit? I did the 3-2-1 method a few weeks ago with beef short ribs and they were phenomenal.

Was also planning on using very little, if any smoke. I have oak, cherry, and hickory. Which would be best suited?

What temp should I cook to? Should I aim to keep it around the 200 mark, or go higher with this cut?

I'm imagining that when this thing is done, it will be in a state that it can be pulled apart, and served with rice. Is this correct, or is it more of a slicing meat?

Finally, how big of a roast should I aim for? We are 6 adults and 5 children. Of course leftovers are never a problem! :-)

Thanks!
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Unread 05-23-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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Here's a good cook by SmokinAussie:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...er#post1548525

And another by Buccaneer:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...er#post2097363

And another by Aussietitch:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...=lamb+shoulder

These guys are the experts.
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Unread 05-23-2013, 01:05 PM   #3
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I did mine following Raichlen's recipe. It didn't involve an overnight marinade but came out good enough that I did the same thing the next time I wanted to roast a leg of lamb. More details on my on this at my blog.

In the past I've also done them marinating overnight with Italian dressing to which I added Rosemary and garlic.

Good luck with your cook!
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Unread 05-23-2013, 01:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the links. I'm surprised I can't find more people using yogurt as a marinade/tenderizing agent. It seems to be more popular in Indian and Pakistani bbq. I've used yogurt before for marinating chicken and it has always been great. Also interesting that the leg (of lamb) is so much more popular than the shoulder. Yet the shoulder seems like it could be the easier and more delicious cut? I guess people avoid it because it takes so much longer to cook in order to get tender?
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Unread 05-23-2013, 02:04 PM   #5
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For me, it's a matter of being able to FIND it. I never see the shoulder in the stores around here.
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Unread 05-23-2013, 03:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hominamad View Post
Thanks for the links. I'm surprised I can't find more people using yogurt as a marinade/tenderizing agent. It seems to be more popular in Indian and Pakistani bbq. I've used yogurt before for marinating chicken and it has always been great. Also interesting that the leg (of lamb) is so much more popular than the shoulder. Yet the shoulder seems like it could be the easier and more delicious cut? I guess people avoid it because it takes so much longer to cook in order to get tender?

The shoulder is a more working part so tastes stronger imho.
I did Lamb marinated in Buttermilk a while back and was most impressed,
similar to Yoghurt I assume.
see here.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...amb+buttermilk
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Last edited by AussieTitch; 05-23-2013 at 04:15 PM.. Reason: Added a link
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Unread 05-23-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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Yogurt eh?

The shoulder isn't "better", both the leg and shoulder have different qualities so dont limit yourself.
The shoulder here turns out to end up more expensive because of the bone vs meat equation but it is fattier and slow cooks better slightly.
The leg has a subtler flavour slightly, and has a different texture of meat.
Yogurt is claimed to be a meat tenderizer, and it is...but only for 1/16th of an inch.
It helps in moisture retention but it will not penetrate the meat so it won't help with smoke penetration mate.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...light=kashmiri
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Unread 05-23-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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Also, just answering your question regarding temp. There is no problem taking it up to 180+, and it will pull fine. The Owner of Big Boy BBQ in Melbourne does a lot of pulled lamb. He uses 3 FEC 100's with Hickory and the results are really very good. I'd recommend also to see if you can get some lamb necks to go with the shoulder. Although very fatty, they will pull very nicely. Honestly, the neck is my favourite part.

In general though, I prefer not to take the lamb up to that temperature. For a shoulder roast, take it very slow and I'd really not take up mch above 150F. If it was a leg, I'd take it off at 125F.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure we get to see it!

Cheers!

Bill
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Unread 05-23-2013, 08:33 PM   #9
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The secret of lamb shoulder as demonstrated in the threads provided is slow cooking. My suggestion is initially at no more than 230F then finishing very hot for short time (15-20 minutes) to crisp up the skin.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 12:11 PM   #10
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Thanks guys! Should I cook it covered it for an hour or two to braise? Or is that not necessary? Is yogurt worth using?

Finally - should I try for a bone-in or boneless? Called a few places and seem like I can get both.
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Unread 05-24-2013, 04:01 PM   #11
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Ordered the shoulders just now. They are a bit pricier than I was prepared for - around $8/lb for bone-in. And he said each one is around 5 lbs - I'm having 12-15 people, so getting two. This is a local "mom and pop" old school butcher shop that gets really premium stuff - so I'm hoping it will be worth the extra $$$. The owner told me their lamb is really top notch.

Another supermarket butcher has bone-in for 3.99/lb. Whole Food has boneless for 7.99.

Anyway, will be sure to post pics here. I'm just torn if I should use yogurt in my marinade or not. I decided I'm going to cook it in a pan so I capture all the juices during the cook. I'll probably keep it covered for part of the cook as well. Figure it can't hurt. When its done, I'll pull the meat off and serve it in the pan juices.
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Unread 05-25-2013, 10:48 PM   #12
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Picked up the meat today - it's certainly an odd cut! Butcher told me it's technically called a square cut shoulder roast. He described it as "junk" - meaning it is full of all kinds of awkward bones, gristle and fat - but he said it is incredibly delicious. I'm having 12 adults over tomorrow and am a bit nervous taking this kind of risk. I really have no idea if this is even going to be enough meat because I can't figure out how this thing is going to look or cut up when its done. I ended up getting two shoulders - one 8 lb and one 7 lb. Price as 6.99/lb - and most of it is bone - so not cheap by any means! The butcher told me he thinks even with these 15 lbs of meat, it will barely be enough for 12 people. Is that possible?

I made a rub/paste out of dry oregano, thyme, pinch of rosemary, salt, black pepper, lemon zest, and a ton of fresh garlic. I processed it with olive oil and mixed in about 10 tblsp of yogurt.

I made a bunch of slits and rubbed the hell out of it. Sitting in my fridge overnight.

Going to put these in a roasting pan with some fresh thyme around it, chopped up celery, carrot and onion, and a bunch of tiny potatoes. Thinking of putting a bit of white wine and some water at the bottom, and covering it up after the first hour or two. I want this thing to be falling apart and also would be nice to have some good juices at the end.

I have no idea how long to expect these to cook for. I figure it could be about 5-6 hours for one, but is it going to be longer if I'm doing two? I'm using a Weber kettle set up for indirect.

Will update the thread with new pics as I go. Thanks everyone for your help.







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Unread 05-26-2013, 12:34 PM   #13
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Here's some more pics - mid cook. Got it on the grill at 8:45am. Now 1:30pm and the internal temp is 145. Grate temp has been between 225 and 275 the whole time.

I cooked it uncovered for the first 3 hours. Then added some white wine, veggies and some water and herbs and covered it up. In another half hour I'm going to uncover it and cook for one more hour.

Oh also, I used a bit cherry wood for the first hour of cooking.

So curious how this is going to turn out! I don't even have a back-up meat!







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Unread 05-26-2013, 05:08 PM   #14
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Thanks for posting the cook. Looking forward to seeing the end pron!
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Unread 05-26-2013, 05:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hominamad View Post
I'm just torn if I should use yogurt in my marinade or not. I decided I'm going to cook it in a pan so I capture all the juices during the cook. I'll probably keep it covered for part of the cook as well. Figure it can't hurt. When its done, I'll pull the meat off and serve it in the pan juices.
I marinate lamb in OO, minced garlic, fresh herbs from the garden, and a little S&P. The OO really just works as a carrier for the spices and herbs -- it helps the flavors of the spices and herbs transfer to the meat. That's really all I want it to do.

I have always gotten my best results with lamb shanks and legs from braising. But, I haven't ever tries shoulder. I don't recall ever seeing it in any stores here.

Maybe a hybrid cook is in order. Smoke or grill the shoulder at first to flavor the outside, then move it to a braise to finish. I don't know, but good luck, and show us how it turns out.

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