Smoked Lamb Shoulder

011/18: Smoked Lamb Shoulder

011/18 – Smoked Lamb Shoulder:

I am still running down the freezer before I buy any more meat and I have 2 Shetland Lamb Shoulders needing to be cooked. I had a scan of my “To cook” list and spotted Smoked Lamb Shoulder in Hardcore Carnivore by Jess Pryles – Selection made!

The recipe suggests a Jalapeno cornbread so I added that to the list and the Fennel, Pear and Walnut salad – 3 recipes from one book, love it!

The Meat:

The Shetland Lamb from Richard Briggs is some of the best quality lamb I have eaten, I wish I had bought more of it! As soon as it’s on sale again I will be stocking up!

Smoked Lamb Shoulder

The Prep:

Very simple prep, just patted the meat with a kitchen towel then made and applied the Basic brisket rub (Pepper, Salt, Garlic Powder) from the Hard Core Carnivore book. Interesting tip in the book about keeping the pepper quite coarse to help the bark form. I gave it a go.Smoked Lamb Shoulder

The Cook:

The recipe suggests between 7 and 10 hours cooking time so I emptied 2x 4kg bags of heat beads into the smoker, hollowed out the middle and poured half a lit chimney of lumpwood charcoal. I left it about 20 minutes so the lit lump caught the heat beads then I stacked the smoker up. I foiled the water tray and poured a full bucket of hot water in. Again, I left it about 20 minutes for everything to settle at 225f (top vent fully open, 2 bottom vents closed and the other bottom vent about half open). Once it hit 225f I put the meat in along with a couple of Oak chunks from Smokewood Shack.

A quick check after 90 minutes:

Smoked Lamb Shoulder

The recipe suggests an internal temperature of 91c for chopped lamb or 99c for pulled lamb. I have done a lot of pulled lamb before and you end up with a fair bit of skin, bark and fat that don’t get eaten. Chopped lamb sounded like it could help with that so I aimed for 91c.

This was the meat at 87c after 5.5 hours so pretty close.Smoked Lamb Shoulder

91c on the Thermapen after 6.5 hours cooking so I pulled it off the smoker.Smoked Lamb Shoulder

And wrapped it it in foil for an hour.Smoked Lamb Shoulder

Whilst the meat was resting I made the Fennel, Pear and Walnut salad by chopping the fennel, slicing the pear and chopping the walnuts. All this went in a bowl with rapeseed oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey and black pepper. I had a sneaky taste, it was very nice!

Smoked Lamb Shoulder

Next it was time to make the cornbread by setting the oven to 230c. The recipe says to put pork lard in a cast-iron skillet, I didn’t have any of that so I used beef dripping! Next I mixed Polenta, Plain Flour, Baking Powder, Bicarb of Soda, Salt, Sugar, and Paprika in a bowl, Once mixed I added Egg, Creamed Corn, Jalapenos and Buttermilk them mixed it all together. Once the pan had been in the oven around 10 minutes I took it out and poured the mixture in, turned the oven down to 180c and put the pan back in for 40 minutes. It looked awesome when it came out!Smoked Lamb Shoulder

Time to Eat:

Time to check on the lamb. The colour was fantastic and the bark looked brilliant!Smoked Lamb Shoulder

The book says to use 2 cleavers to chop the meat. I do have 2 cleavers but I also need my hands to work so decided to have a go with 1 to start with!Smoked Lamb Shoulder

I pulled the bones out without any issues then got to work with the cleaver, another sneaky taste. Oh my goodness, this was very nice!Smoked Lamb Shoulder

I wasn’t sure how fine to chop it but felt this was about right. Great mix of meat and bark but the chopping had also mixed all the juice and fat together so each bite was a treat!Smoked Lamb Shoulder

Indoor photo so the light is pretty poor! I put everything on the board and let everyone fire in.Smoked Lamb Shoulder


The recipe says to use boneless lamb, I must have missed that bit as mine had the bones in. It is a bit tricky to get shoulder bones out on raw meat but it was easy to pull them out once cooked, I would leave it in again next time too.

The cornbread cut really well, tasted fantastic. Can’t believe how nice it was considering how easy it was to make! The salad was very nice, quite refreshing against the spice in the cornbread and the pepper in the lamb bark. Was blown away by the lamb, such a simple cook but it was the best tasting lamb shoulder I have cooked so far. Simple rub with the coarser pepper made a difference but chopping the meat made a massive difference as the bark, rub and fat were mixed with the meat and really added to the flavour. I think shoulders will be chopped and not pulled in future!

Smoked Lamb Shoulder

I don’t think I would change anything with this one, really enjoyed it and looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Cook Difficulty: 2/5 
Cook Duration: Medium: 3/5
Cook Equipment: Weber Smokey Mountain
Cook Method: Smoker
Charcoal: Heat Beads – 2 bags
Smoking Wood: Smokewood Shack Oak
Cook temperature: 225f
Cook time: 6.5 hours plus 1 hour rest
Internal temperature: 91c
Notes: 1: Make this again!

2: Chop shoulders rather than pull them, worked really well!


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