Smoked & Braised Lamb Shoulder

Few things in the wide world of food can compete with the beautiful simplicity of smoked meat. If done properly, it's a perfect meld of soft fat and crunchy bark, smoke and sweetness. I love pork ribs just as much as the next guy, and a slow-smoked brisket is hard to beat, but I'll be bold: my favorite meat for the smoker is lamb. Buying high quality bone-in lamb is imperative for this recipe—if you cheap out, you're going to end up with gamey, dry meat. For those of you in St. Louis, no where comes close to Bolyard's Meat and Provisions. The recipe is based off Chef Edward Lee's pulled lamb BBQ, from his cookbook Smoke and Pickles

The quick smoke at the beginning of the recipe helps develop the crust and give the lamb a nice hint of smoke, and the braise turns it all into one heaping pile of easily shreddable meat. The leftover jus makes for great French dip sandwiches, but I've used this recipe to make tacos, rice bowls, and pastas. It's a fantastic way to prepare lamb that skips the red wine and rosemary like every other recipe out there.


Smoked & Braised Lamb Shoulder

Smoked & Braised Lamb Shoulder




2 T kosher salt
1 T black pepper
1 T dry mustard
1 T smoked paprika
1 T ground cumin
1 T garlic powder
1 T Korean chili flakes
1 T brown sugar
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t coriander


1 3 lb. lamb shoulder
5 c beef stock
1 bottle stout
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 t tabasco sauce


Combine all the rub ingredients and mix. Rub the meat with the spice rub until well covered. It’s best to let the meat sit uncovered in the fridge overnight, but if you’re short on time, leave it to rest for at least 1 hour.

Light your smoker and get the temperature between 225-250F (lower is better). Once there, add your smoker wood chunks. I prefer a 50/50 mix of apple and oak. Add the meat, leave to smoke. Preheat your oven to 300F. After 1.5 hours, remove the lamb from smoker and place in a roasting pan.

Add the liquid ingredients and cover with foil. Put the pan in the oven and check on it in 3 hours.

Lamb’s looking and smelling sexy, right? Remove from the oven and place the lamb on a cutting board. Pull it apart—wear disposable gloves to help from burning your hands. Eat all the good crusty bits when no one’s looking.

Strain the liquid and use it as jus, or use to cook grains in. Quinoa cooked in smoky lamb jus is orgasmic.