Lamb Shoulder for Two, Condimint

By • January 16, 2014 • 7 Comments

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Author Notes: Mint is a classic accompaniment for lamb. And it wasn't until Jennifer May shot this classic braised lamb recipe with its mint condiment that we really appreciated its beauty. It's something we imagine on the Sunday table of Mayor Drapeau, who brought Expo 67 and the '76 Olympics to Montreal (and chased away the hookers and the gangsters -- albeit temporarily).Joe Beef

Serves 2

Lamb Shoulder

  • 2 pounds (about 1 kg) boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed, rolled, and tied
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 cup (140 g) frozen or very fresh shelled peas
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine

Condimint

  • 2 cups (170 g) pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cider vinegar
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) grated fresh horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons (heaping) dried peppermint, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Season the lamb on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. Add the lamb and sear for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, or until you get a nice golden crust. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, throw in the onion, carrot, peas (thawed, if using frozen) and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add the thyme, nestle the lamb on top of the vegetables, and pour in the wine.
  4. Cover the pan with aluminum ?foil, place in the oven, and braise for ?4 hours. Every 30 minutes, baste the top of the lamb with the pan juices. If the pan begins to dry out, add some water.
  5. While the lamb is cooking, make the condiment. In a small pot, combine the dates and water, bring to a boil over high heat, and boil for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Reduce the heat to medium, add the sugar, vinegar, and cayenne, and stir well. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved and the condiment has the consistency of jam.
  6. Remove from the heat, add the horseradish, mint, and Worcestershire sauce, and buzz with a hand blender or whisk in. Let cool completely before serving. (Leftover condiment can be stored in a tightly capped jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.)
  7. When the lamb is ready, transfer it to a warmed platter with the vegetables. Snip the strings and serve à la cuillère, with a spoon. Serve the condimint on the side.
Jump to Comments (7)

Comments (7) Questions (0)

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7 months ago Miss V

I made this recipe this week. People's suspicions were correct as to the vegetables. My suggestion to improve the recipe would be to keep the cook time the same for the lamb, but don't throw in the carrots until the last hour or so of cooking, and don't throw in the peas until maybe the last 10 minutes, just enough to get them warm really. The peas were completely worthless with the cook time in the recipe. The onion and garlic were soft to the point of mush at four hours, but had picked up a very nice flavor; still, you could get them nicely caramelized and flavorful with half the cook time.
The lamb itself was nicely done with the four hour cook time, but you do have to keep basting and I had to add liquid near the end. It's a little more babysitting than I like for a recipe with that long a cook time.
The condiment was pretty much the bomb. I did it with fresh mint and used about four tablespoons, because like other commenters I wasn't sure, based on the note about removing stems, whether the were really talking about minced dried mint or fresh mint still on the stem, but I figured you'd definitely need more if you're using fresh rather than dried. The mint honestly didn't come through very much compared to the dates and the horseradish, so I'd say if you want to make this, go whole hog and put in three tablespoons of dried -- that seems to be what it needs. It's probably going to make more than twice as much condiment as you really need, however; you could easily cut the condiment recipe in half.

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10 months ago Jackie Savage

Can I echo Jumans re the artichokes and small onions? That is what attracted me to the recipe, otherwise is it just braised lamb!

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10 months ago ChezHenry

4 hours at 375?? The peas cooking for 4 hours? Something seems very off with this recipe imho.

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10 months ago jumans

Why are there artichoke hearts, snow pea pods (mangetout), and some other quartered vegetable in the picture (which look great), but not in the recipe?

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10 months ago lawrence

That's what I was thinking! And 4 hours seems like a very long time to cook 2lbs of anything.

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10 months ago Nora

It's the photo from the cookbook, so it's been set up for the photoshoot. The actual dish at the restaurant looks similar, but not like the photo.

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10 months ago Robin J

Do you really mean dried peppermint? Why would dried peppermint have stems in it? What would be the equivalent amount of fresh peppermint to use?