Syrah-Braised Lamb Shoulder

This wonderfully simple, slow-cooked dish from chef and owner Mike Davis of 26brix in Walla Walla, Washington, gets a surprisingly complex flavor from Syrah. Try using the same wine for cooking and drinking.

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  • Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 5-pound boneless lamb shoulder roast, tied
  • 1 bottle Syrah
  • 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 12 thyme sprigs, tied with string
  • Herbed Potato SoufflĂ©, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, mix the cumin with 2 tablespoons of the oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the lamb.

  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy casserole or Dutch oven. Add the lamb shoulder and brown it well over moderately high heat, about 15 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a large plate. Wipe out the casserole.

  3. Return the lamb to the casserole. Add the wine, chicken stock and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer the casserole to the oven. Braise the lamb for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning the meat occasionally, until tender.

  4. Transfer the lamb to a large platter and cover with foil. Discard the thyme sprigs. Boil the braising liquid until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 40 minutes.

  5. Remove the strings from the roast. Slice the lamb, transfer to plates or a platter and spoon the sauce on top. Serve with the Herbed Potato Soufflé.

Make Ahead

The braised lamb can be refrigerated in the reduced sauce for up to 3 days. Reheat before serving.

Suggested Pairing

A blackberry-powered Syrah from Walla Walla Valley in Washington State.

Contributed By Published October 2006

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