Merino Lamb Bone-In Shoulders
8 Bone In Shoulders (Approx. 20lb Total)
Food & Wine Magazine called Merino “supremely delicate & tender” & “the next great lamb” in their January 2014 issue.
Bone in Merino shoulders (aka oyster shoulders, paletilla) are a slow cooking cut that can be braised, slow roasted or cooked rotisserie. They have a higher fat content than the leg. The meat can also be cubed for kebab or stew meat, or ground (though this would be easier with boneless Merino shoulders).
Merino is a premium lamb variety with meat that is fine grained, silky, succulent and marbled, without the heavy fat deposits found in conventional lamb. Its flavor is less gamy, and more elegant, with a clean palate. Because it's leaner, it's best cooked at slightly lower temperatures for less time.
The lamb on the American market is commodity lamb – a variety of breeds and inter-bred lamb are represented without any regard for the eating qualities of any particular breed. Merino are exceptional – they offer highly desirable meat and wool characteristics just as Black Angus cattle produce exceptional beef.
Because Merino fleece grows fine and soft – they are raised to be sheared for the New Zealand top end apparel wool industry. Their meat is exceptionally tender, fine textured and elegant – with a taste that is less intense than conventional lamb. Chefs at fine dining restaurants love it because its more delicate flavor allows them to showcase more complexity in their dishes.
Merino are a slower growing, naturally leaner breed. Because of their heavier wool, they are better suited to high altitudes than in the lowlands where conventional lamb is farmed.
Silere alpine-origin merino is not just free range, it's open range. The merino roam huge, idyllic high-mountain range pastures in New Zealand, grazing on native herbs and tussock grasses.
Store bone-in Merino lamb shoulders in your freezer, then thaw them before cooking.
RECIPES & TIPS
Bone in merino shoulders can be braised, roasted, cooked on a rotisserie, or deboned & cubed for use as stew or kebab meat.
Merino’s less intense flavor makes it much more adaptable – it can be paired with a wider variety of sides, sauces and seasonings that conventional lamb might overpower. Traditional lamb pairings like mint, thyme, rosemary, mustard and red wine will still work, however.