For a while now I've had the strongest earn to cook lamb. Up until this point, I have never roasted lamb before. Why the hesitation? Finding good quality lamb is such a chore! I know lamb is naturally gamey but the worse the quality, the stronger the gaminess. I finally decided to give Costco lamb a try and put together a pomegranate beer braised lamb shoulder. Luckily, the flavors of the sauce were so flavorful and delicious that it hid most of the gaminess and yielded one beautiful lamb! Winner winner lamb dinner!
Pomegranate Beer Braised Lamb Shoulder
- 4-5 lb lamb shoulder
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoon oil divided
- 2 red onions sliced
- 1 tablespoon canned chipotle plus 2 tablespoon adobo juices
- 250 ml smooth ale
- 3 tablespoon pomegranate molasses divided
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoon water
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine the spices for the lamb including cumin, paprika, salt, coriander, and black pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the lamb shoulder, making sure to cover all the sides. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the lamb and sear on all sides until lightly browned. Remove the lamb from the pot and set it aside.
- In the same pot, heat another 2 tablespoon oil. Add the sliced onions and saute until caramelized, about 20 minutes. If the pot becomes too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water. Add the chipotle with the adobo juices, smooth ale, 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, rosemary, garlic, and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Add the lamb shoulder to the pot, cover, and continue to braise in the oven for 3 hours or until the lamb is tender.
- Remove the lamb from the pot and skim the fat from the braising liquid. Increase the heat to high and boil the liquid until it's reduced by half. Add 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, and the cornstarch and water slurry. Continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Slice the lamb shoulder and pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle fresh pomegranate arils and serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This pomegranate beer braised lamb shoulder is the perfect dinner for the holidays or you know, just for a regular weeknight dinner. Since everything just sits in the pot and slowly cooks for a couple of hours, there's minimal work involved. My kind of meal.
Start by marinating the lamb in the dry spices. We're going to impart as much flavor as we can into this dish to hide any of the strong gaminess the lamb may have. Let the lamb soak up those spices for 20 minutes, then sear it until browned on all sides. This helps seal in the spices and caramelizes the lamb, adding more flavor.
Remove the lamb from the pot and set it aside while we prepare the other ingredients. In the same pot, saute the onions until they're caramelized, about 20 minutes. Take your time with the onions, letting the natural sugars break down and create jammy sweet onions. If the pot becomes too dry, add a splash of water.
Once the onions are ready, add the remaining ingredients including the lamb, and let it braise in the oven until it's fall-apart tender, about 3 hours. The time can depend on how large your roast is.
Now let's reduce the braising liquid to concentrate the flavors, adding brown sugar, pomegranate molasses, and cornstarch slurry to liven it up a bit. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and pour a generous amount over the lamb. Finish the lamb with fresh pomegranate arils for a lovely pop of tartness.
I cannot tell you how excited I was to have this dinner. The smell of the lamb braising in the oven was intoxicating, in a good way. One bite of the dish and I was sold. The flavors were so intense and complementary to the lamb that I couldn't believe I didn't try this sooner! Now if only I can find a rack of lamb next...
For more lamb inspiration check out these spiced lamb pita wraps!