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What Are the Best Tips for Making Lamb Shoulder Casserole?

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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2016
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The best tips for making lamb shoulder casserole are to season the meat before cooking, to cover the casserole dish during cooking, to braise the meat before adding it to the dish, and to cook it for a long time over low heat. The majority of the tips relating to cooking lamb shoulder casserole are designed to make the meat as juicy and tender as possible when cooked. Seasoning for lamb generally includes salt, pepper, and sprigs of rosemary. Chefs should use fresh sprigs of rosemary where possible.

Seasoning the meat before cooking it in a lamb shoulder casserole is an important tip for getting flavorsome meat. Chefs should rub the entire lamb shoulder in olive oil, black pepper, and salt. The aim is to make the coverage as even as possible so it is important to equally distribute the flavors throughout the meat. Fresh rosemary sprigs are thin stems with leaves coming off like the fletching on an arrow. These can literally be stabbed into the meat to distribute the flavor throughout the entire shoulder.

Braising meat is an important tip which should be used on the majority of joints a chef cooks. Meat contains a lot of natural fat that adds to the tenderness and juiciness of the meat. To keep this fat locked in, chefs often shallow-fry the outside of the meat before roasting to seal the fat in place. When making lamb shoulder casserole, the lamb should be braised skin-side down.

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Lamb shoulder casserole is basically a lamb shoulder joint cooked in a sauce with vegetables. The majority of the cooking takes place in the oven, where the ingredients are roasted in a sauce made from ingredients such as tomatoes and white wine. The main function of the sauce is to add moisture to the dish, so keeping this moisture in the cooking is very important to chefs. Putting a lid over the casserole dish traps this moisture in place and makes for a juicier casserole. Stock can be used instead of the tomato and white wine sauce, as can a variety of other liquids.

Cooking the lamb shoulder casserole at a low temperature for a long period of time also helps to keep moisture in the dish. The casserole should be cooked at around 340 degrees Fahrenheit (170 Celsius) for two-and-a-half hours. Chefs often use a fork to see how easily the lamb can be pulled apart, to ensure tenderness. Slow-cooked lamb shoulder should pull apart with little effort.

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