Each Spring I wait with anticipation to make my favorite lamb dishes. I’m not sure why I don’t crave it as much in the Winter season, but I think it has to do with the perfect pairing lamb makes with fresh herbs, garlic, potatoes and carrots. What’s nice is that combination can go on to make roasts, stews and more. In this recipe for Pan Roasted Lamb with Potatoes and Carrots, you can actually use the base recipe as a foundation to do other things with it- for example, you can add more water to make it a stew; less water to make it more of a dry roast; you can leave the meat uncut and roast it whole or cut it even smaller than what I’ve done here if you need to extend it to fee more people. It’s all really up to you, but I hope this serves as inspiration to make the freshest of spring lamb dishes this season.
I like lamb that comes in netting because it holds a whole roast together during the cooking process and you can even stick cloves of garlic into it as it cooks, just like I did in this recipe.
Or, you can cut it into chunks, big or small, depending on how you like to eat it. Lamb cooked with the fat on it like here (which can be cut off after cooking), actually makes the meat juicier, it seems to shrink less during cooking and there ends up being more broth/liquids at the bottom of the pan.
I like to buy the whole shoulder, boneless and then cut it up into pieces the size I need for my recipe. It’s more economical than buying a smaller portions and you can always freeze the raw meat you don’t use.
What’s also great about this recipe is that it’s a one-pan meal that can also be added to a slow cooker, but you would have to bring the meat to a high temperature first before doing that, just to be safe.
After cooking, it’s so easy to scoop out and plate. In this case, there was a lot of liquid left in the pan so we enjoyed it like a stew. You could thicken the liquids with some flour to make it more of a gravy or simply continue to roast the pan in the oven, uncovered, to cook them all out altogether.
See how versatile this can me? It should be a base recipe, a foundational dish you keep in your back pocket for chilly Spring days, entertaining and/or cooking a large quantity of food for the week ahead.
What are your favorite lamb or Spring meat dishes? Please share in the comments below.
For more information on cooking lamb and sourcing halal options throughout the United States, check out the wonderfully resourceful American Lamb Board’s website. It’s got great tips on how to cook lamb, FREE dvds (Lamb Carcass, Cuts and Fabrication) and infographics like this one on preparation of different cuts, and a page on where to source halal vendors. They’re materials are great in schools, restaurants, and for the cooking aficionado to keep at home for reference.
For a list of halal vendors recommended by the American Lamb Board see below:
- One 4-4.5 pound boneless shoulder meat, cut into medium-size chunks
- 5 Yukon gold potato, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 5 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 shallots, diced
- 1 tablespoons dried oregano (3 tablespoons fresh oregano)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley (3 tablespoons fresh parsley)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-4 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups lamb broth or water
- Preheat an oven to 325° F.
- 2. Use a paper towel to pat the meat dry. If using a whole roast, cut it into medium-size chunks.
- 3. In a large, deep-bottomed roasting pan, place the meat then surround it with potatoes, carrots, garlic and shallots. Add the salt, then all the fresh and dried herbs. Sprinkle the meat with salt then drizzle with olive oil. Pour the broth into the bottom of the pan.
- 4. Cover the pan and place in the middle of the oven. Cook for 1.5 hours, or until meat reads at least 165°F. For meat to brown remove the cover and let cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- 5. Let the meat rest, covered, for about 10 minutes before serving. Use a slotted spoon to serve on a platter, if you prefer not to serve with the liquids.
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