Recognized for its elegance and flavor, lamb is a favorite protein of chefs across the globe. While most chefs think of rack of lamb, today’s economy as well as a desire to utilize the whole carcass challenges chefs to look at some of the lesser-known and economical cuts.
By Christopher Heath Stone, CEC, MEd
The shoulder is one of the most affordable cuts of lamb. A square-cut bone-in shoulder can be barbecued, braised or slow roasted. It can also be broken down in a variety of ways to create shoulder arm and blade chops, shoulder ribs or various BRT roasts. Lamb-shoulder meat is also commonly used to create kabob and stew meat, as well as grind.
The downloadable chart shows steps to breaking down a lamb shoulder to create BRT roasts. (Feel free to distribute this handout to students.) To summarize, you should first remove the layer of exterior fat. Follow the natural separation of meat to bone to make a nice clean cut across the remaining rib bones and follow that down to the neck line. Then the shoulder should be split into two separate pieces. The larger piece of the two still contains the arm bone. Remove this bone and trim to create a BRT (Boned Rolled and Tied) roast. BRT roasts are perfect for slow roasting or braising.
Included in the downloadable instructor’s lesson-plan materials, “Fabricating and Preparing an American Lamb Shoulder” (formatted in MS Word), is my recipe for Irish Farmhouse Lamb Stew serving 10, which can be prepared in class to show menu application of the technique.
Christopher Heath Stone, CEC, MEd, is an associate professor and department chair at Johnson& Wales University – Denver.
- DOWNLOAD: Lamb Shoulder Fabrication handout (86 Downloads)
- Lesson Plan, Fabricating and Preparing an American Lamb Shoulder (108 Downloads)