What Did We Cook: Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder

Do you cook lamb? I do, a lot—different cuts, different ways. I know, though, that even frequent home cooks often don’t do lamb. I wish more would. It’s such a good choice—besides being delicious, it’s healthful, even—free-range and grass-fed, whether domestic or imported. Costco and Trader Joe’s are reliable sources of Australian or New Zealand lamb. I love the slightly gamier (but still mild!) domestic, when I can find it. Middle Eastern markets often have both American and antipodean, and I recently scored a beautiful whole shoulder of fresh domestic lamb at the fabulous Super King in Anaheim, which I slow roasted. Really slow—12 hours… more details and a recipe to come. (Even so, that’s half the cooking time of the preparation I was riffing on, Nigella Lawson’s 24-hour pork shoulder.) Result? Incredibly succulent, flavorful meat nearly falling off the bone, lending itself to all sorts of applications—plain or fancy, high or low. On this day I applied it to tacos, as part of our ongoing, aforementioned 2011 Taco Friday project: Pulled lamb crisped in a skillet, a little of the deliciously incendiary new habanero salsa from El Fenix Carniceria in Rancho Santa Margarita, a squiggle of crema—done.

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