“Miscellaneous” meat education…part 1

Every time I get up the nerve to enter a butcher shop I am blown away by just how many different cuts of meat there actually are.  Tomorrow, my Bible study is having a Passover dinner of sorts (I say of sorts because none of us is Jewish and I think some exceptions to Kosher thoughts might be allowed).  I volunteered to make strudel and to roast some lamb.  So I can roast a chicken and pork loin with no thought, problem or issue.  And theoretically, roasting lamb is not hard either, but trying to decide precisely what cut to roast is really a hard decision.  Who knew you could skin a lamb so many ways?  So here it is, in all it’s gory glory (it’s hard to see in the plastic I know–I’ll post more pictures tomorrow–it will be more presentable then)–my bone-in lamb shoulder–it was labeled a “miscellaneous” cut by the butcher–I think that’s hilarious. 


It should be tasty smothered with garlic and anchovies and rosemary and braised (I’m going to combine a leg recipe from Gourmet April 2005 and from this the archives of Serious Eats.  I’ve never made a shoulder before.  I’ve made a lot of lamb meatballs and a 2 years ago for Passover I braised some shanks which were delicious.  We’ll see how carving the shoulder goes–every website I’ve found says really unhelpful things like–“the bone-in variety of lamb shoulder is difficult to cut”–thanks, that’s encouraging.  Julia Child said in her first episode of The French Chef that some dishes know that you’re scared of them (and I think they respond in kind).  So I will take the next 20 hours to work up my courage to cook such a lovely piece of meat without fear. 

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