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Braised Lamb Shoulder with Grapes and fresh thyme on a wood serving board.
Braised Lamb Shoulder with Grapes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 20 mins

Low and slow for this fall-off-the-bone braised lamb shoulder with grapes. Carve and serve it or throw it back in the pan for those crispy edges!

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: braised lamb, lamb shoulder
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 488 kcal
  • 5 lb whole lamb shoulder, bone-in
  • 1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 1/2 cup chicken stock (plus more if needed)
  • 4 cups seedless red grapes, divided
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Let the lamb should sit at room temperature for at least 30 mins before roasting.

  2. Rub the salt, pepper and garlic powder all over the lamb, rubbing it into the meat.

  3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil until hot but not smoking in a large oven-safe pan or roasting pan (I use an enamel coated dutch oven). Place the lamb, fat-side down into the pan and sear until browned on all sides.

  4. Remove the lamb to a plate and pour off all but 1 Tbsp of drippings. If the drippings are burnt, pour off all of them, wipe out the pan and heat another Tbsp of oil until hot.

  5. Add the onions and smashed garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper, and saute until golden, about 5 mins.

  6. Deglaze with the white wine and reduce by half. Place the lamb back in the pot and add the stock, 2 cups of grapes, and the thyme sprigs. The liquid should come to about 1/3 of the lamb. Add more stock if needed.

  7. Cover and roast for 3 hours, checking occasionally and adding more water or stock if the pot is becoming to dry.

  8. When the lamb is fork tender, remove it to a plate or platter and tent with foil. Drain off the fat, strain the drippings, and discard the solids.

  9. Return the strained sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the remaining grapes to the sauce and cook until the sauce is slightly reduced. Remove the bone from the lamb, slice and serve with the sauce.

Recipe Notes
  • Do not be intimidated by cooking a whole bone-in lamb shoulder if you haven't before. It's super easy and practically does all the work in its own! After searing, cover it, pop it in the oven, and let it roast undisturbed, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.
  • Don't skip draining the fat from the drippings (a fat separator works well if you have one). The drippings add moisture and flavor, but they will be greasy if you don't skim the fat.
  • Because the meat is so tender and literally falls off the bone, you won't get perfectly neat slices.
  • If you prefer your lamb with crispy edges, slice it and pop it back into the pot or into a sauté pan with the sauce and grapes and cook over high heat until browned and caramelized.
Nutrition Facts
Braised Lamb Shoulder with Grapes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 488 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 155mg52%
Sodium 1088mg47%
Potassium 1062mg30%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 51g102%
Vitamin A 130IU3%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.