Sonoran Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops by Jesse

Doesn’t the title of this recipe sound fancy? I’ve never prepared lamb before, but Jesse makes this dish look easy and delicious. Enjoy!

lamb dinner

Braising is an excellent way to turn a cheaper — usually tougher — piece of meat into tender deliciousness!  The process involves cooking the meat slowly in liquid in a dutch oven or oven-proof stainless steel pot in a 300-350 degree oven.

This braised lamb has chili powder, oregano, cumin, pepper, salt, and a little beer (the rest of which should be enjoyed while you wait for the lamb to be braised).  Start by marinating the lamb chops in the spices and beer, the longer the better, even overnight!  I didn’t let the lamb marinate nearly long enough, so while the lamb was tender, juicy, and literally falling off the bones, it did not pick up much of the flavor of the spices.  Next time I’ll plan ahead a bit more.

The next step in braising is to brown the meat in oil or butter for a few minutes on each side until the outside is a nice dark brown color.  I recommend scraping off the marinade into a bowl to add back in later so it doesn’t burn in the hot oil.  Use the same pan that you plan on putting in the oven,  so that the juices and bits of meat that come off will make it into the pot and contribute to the flavor.  Take the meat out of the pan and saute onions, carrots, and celery in the juices leftover from browningPlace the meat back into the pan and pour in your liquid of choice (broth, wine, or some other liquid; I’ve even used diluted teriyaki) until it covers or nearly covers the meat.  Cover and place the pot in the oven and forget about it for about an hour, then turn the meat and forget about it for another hour while you prepare the rest of the meal (some other types of meat may take longer to cook).  We enjoyed the lamb with generous servings of petite peas and brown rice.

Jesse the chef

And for desert, Jen arranged this delicious plate of cantaloupe, raspberries, and blackberries that I thoroughly enjoyed while writing this recipe!

  • Jesse

    I realized that I forgot to mention one spice: a bit of cinnamon!

    – Jesse