Lamb Shoulder Roast

Lamb Shoulder Top View
Shoulder roast viewed from the inside, leg bone to the left, backbone curving up to the neck to the right.

Lamb Shoulder Side View
Shoulder roast viewed from the outside, shoulder blade "7 bone" visible on the near side.

[Spala (Italian)]

This is the sheep equivalent of the beef chuck roast, but goes lower and includes the shoulder joint and part of the leg bone (left in photo). The photo specimen was 7 inches long, 5 inches wide, 4 inches thick and weighed 2.8 pounds. This cut has a complex bone structure and some rather large fat deposits. The shoulder is also sold in a larger form including 4 ribs and the whole shoulder blade, weighing a little over 4 pounds.

Buying:   This cut can be found in just about any market that carries lamb, but it's likely to cost significantly less from a market that serves communities that use a lot of lamb. Turkey, Armenia, Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, etc.

Cooking:   Because of its complex structure and significant internal fat deposits, the best strategy for this cut is slow oven roasting until the meat pulls easily from the bone. I have, however, also parted this cut for meat cubes and soup stock.

Yield:   The 2 pound 12 oz shoulder in the photos yielded:

Meat1# 4-1/2 oz45%
Bones15-1/4 oz34%For the soup pot
Fat9-1/2 oz21%

A larger cut from Australia included 4 partial ribs and the whole shoulder blade, yielded:

Meat2# 2-1/4 oz52%
Bones1 #24%For the soup pot
Offcuts15-1/2 oz24%for the soup pot

More on Lamb / Mutton Cuts.

Lamb Shoulder Steak

Whole Lamb Shoulder Steak

[Chuleton de Borrego (Spanish)]

This is the sheep version of the beef 7 bone steak, complete with a 7 shaped slice of the shoulder blade (in some pieces - bone pattern varies from slice to slice). It is sliced from the Lamb Shoulder Roast. The photo specimen was 8 inches long, 3-1/2 inches wide, 3/4 inch thick and weighed 8-1/2 ounces.

Buying:   Many markets that sell the Lamb Shoulder Roast will also cut some into steaks.

Cooking:   This cut is suitable for pan frying, broiling or cooking on the grill. As with all lamb, it will tend to splatter, so cover the floor around your stove with newspapers if you pan fry.

Yield: based on a 2.77 pound tray (both fat and bones include some unrecoverable meat):

Meat1# 5-1/4 oz48%
Bones12-3/8 oz28%For the soup pot
Fat11-1/4 oz25%3-1/2 oz rendered fat

More on Lamb / Mutton Cuts.

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