BBQ104/17 – Lamb Shoulder with Black Dip:
I cooked a lovely lamb shoulder not long ago using a recipe by Hang Fire.
When I ordered the lamb from Martin’s Meats they sent me 2 half shoulders of lamb rather than 1 whole shoulder so I had a spare one to cook. The lamb is Cotswold lamb which is dry aged on the bone in a Himalayan salt chamber for 10-14 days. The half shoulder was £19 for 2KG. The other half shoulder I had was a great bit of meat. Nice flavour, no gristle or chewy bits and none of the grease you get with supermarket lamb so I was looking forward to cooking another one.
Whilst I was on holiday I was reading all the articles I have saved in Pocket over the last year but never got round to reading when I spotted a recipe by Steven Raichlen for Barbecued Lamb Shoulder with Black Dip – This was the recipe to be cooked!
I generously seasoned the lamb with salt and pepper on all sides, patting them into the meat then made the basting sauce by mixing water, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, lemon juice and black pepper in pan. This was brought to the boil then left to cool.
I set the smoker up with a bag of Heat Beads and an old bag of the white Weber briquettes I found when moving everything to the hut! I lit half a chimney of lumpwood charcoal and poured that into the middle of the smoker. I left it to settle for 20 minutes before adding the top section of the smoker and filling the water tray with hot water. I set the BBQ Guru to 250F and left it all to settle for 20 minutes again.
Once the smoker had stabilised at 250F I placed the meat on the top rack and placed 3 chunks of Smokewood Shack Grape Vine smoking wood onto the lit coals. Now I have moved into the hut I have everything laid out better so I can see all the smoking woods I have. I wanted something different to the usual Apple, Oak or Cherry that I have been using and Grapevine seemed a good choice with lamb but would also add a taste of the Mediterranean to remind me of past holidays! When the wood started to smoke it did smell fantastic, I will need to use this more often!
The recipe says to place the fat side facing up but I faced it downwards because the heat source in the WSM is below but I wanted the bark to form on the other side and I wanted the baste to hit the side without the fat on also. When I have used a baste before I have left the meat cooking for the first 3 hours so the smoke takes to the meat and the bark starts to form before I baste.
Whilst the meat was cooking I made the black dip by combining water, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, lemon juice, brown sugar, black pepper, salt, onion salt, garlic powder and allspice powder into a pan and bringing it to the boil before simmering for 5 minutes to reduce.
I went back to the lamb after it had been in for 3 hours and applied the baste with a silicon brush.
4h20m in to the cook I applied the baste again – the meat was starting to take a nice colour:
I kept basting the meat every hour. At 7 hours in it was looking great.
After cooking for 9h15m the internal temperature hit 195F. I checked the meat all over with a thermapen and it was probing like butter, really soft with no resistance to the probe at all. This was looking, smelling and feeling fantastic!
I took the lamb out and left it to rest for 5 minutes.
The bone was sticking out a bit and as I was going to shred the meat I wanted to see if it would pull out or not. With a slight pull the bone came out cleanly!
Time to Eat:
The recipe says to thinly slice it across the grain or finely chop it with a cleaver. I knew we wouldn’t eat it all that day and there would be leftovers so to try and avoid the meat drying out I decided to pull it into decent sized chunks instead. The meat came apart so easily. It was the softest, juiciest lamb I had cooked so far. The smoke had taken well and there was a good mix of colours from the different meat surfaces. I had a sneaky taste – it was incredible! So juicy, so moist and such a great taste. I was looking forward to this!
I took half the black dip and poured it into the meat. The colour changed a bit and the meat was even juicier now. I had another sneaky taste, it was even better now!
I didn’t have any hamburger buns but I had some nice seeded rolls. I cut them in half and brushed melted butter onto the cut sides before lightly toasting them. I then took a fistful of meat and placed it in each roll.
I took the first roll and dipped it in the black dip and took a bite – Fantastic!
This was a really simple cook but the combination of top quality lamb with a great baste and dip made for a cracking meal. This was possibly the best lamb I have cooked so far, it was so juicy, so tender and such a great taste from the salt and pepper, the grapevine smoke and the basting sauce I thoroughly enjoyed it. I mentioned my mother in law in a previous post, she can be quite a fussy eater but she had leftovers today and really enjoyed it so that’s a vote of confidence! My 1 year old daughter inhaled a good portion of the lamb for dinner tonight too so I take that as another vote of approval!
I have cooked a few recipes by Steven Raichlen now and had great results each time. I will need to cook more of his recipes from the books I have!
|Cook Equipment:||Weber Smoky Mountain|
|Cook Method:||Low and Slow|
|Charcoal:||Heat Beads (1x4KG plus 1x4KG bag of Weber white bag briquettes)|
|Smoking Wood:||Smokewood Shack Grapevine|
Update – Leftovers:
The day after I posted the blog Jon Curtis messaged me on Twitter to suggest a shepherds pie with the leftovers. Great idea!
My wife did the honours:
First up I boiled some water for the mash – four red potatoes from a friend’s garden went in and one large sweet potato, these bubbled away nicely while I got on with the pie filling. I gently fried an onion in rapeseed oil for around 5 minutes. While the onion was softening I finely diced 2 carrots and added that to the pan for another 5-10 minutes until it all started to take on a slight colour, I stirred every couple of minutes to prevent it from sticking. At this point I added the leftover lamb which I pulled apart a bit further so all the pieces were roughly the same size. As the lamb had been stored in the fridge in the leftover black dip it was quite wet -I made sure to drain most of it, but there was a bit of residue which was actually quite good, the beginnings of the gravy! I then added about 100ml of water (complete guess, I just added a splash from the kettle then a bit more), around a tablespoon of (homemade!) Worcestershire sauce, one tablespoon of tomato purée then crumbled an Oxo cube on the top (do you know the way you are supposed to open those little guys so you don’t get icky black gunk under your nails?! Genius, I’ll get Nathan to add to his Stories on Instagram!) and added around a tablespoon of plain flour to thicken it slightly. I left that to cook through while I mashed the tatties. A quick bash with lashings of butter and some salt and pepper and we were all set to assemble. Pie filling into the dish, spuds on top then grated cheese went on before popping in the oven for around 10 mins.
This was SO tasty if I do say so myself, Nathan had seconds and both our daughters cleared their plates for the first time in WEEKS, if that isn’t a good sign I don’t know what is!
A great way to use up leftovers, we’d definitely do this again. If anyone gives this a try, remember to use the hashtag #dothekungfubbq as we’d love to see some of your creations.
(And if anyone wants to also make their own Worcestershire sauce, it’s disgustingly easy – http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/homemade-worcestershire-sauce-278956)
Not the best photo off my phone but this was so tasty! I would definitely recommend this for the leftovers.