Yes, I know that its Halloween weekend, but we’d rather get into the fall meals than the holiday cookies. I know, I should think of some Halloween recipes, but its just not really something that we get into in our house. We’re way more about the football and friends than the trick or treating and dressing up. Although, we do both have costumes for work – Angel went as Finn from Adventure Time and I am going as Lucy from the Peanuts gang (as a part of a group for work). So, its not all bah humbug here! ;)
For this recipe, you don’t have to mash the butternut squash, but I feel that it tastes a little watery if you just eat it right out of the pot. Mashing them up really introduces the flavor more quickly and evenly and gives a nice fluffy texture to the dish. Oh, and if you don’t drink wine, that’s OK, just use water instead (although, I prefer using the wine).
Braised Lamb Shoulder with Butternut Squash Mash
2 lbs Lamb Shoulder (bone in)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion
1 Butternut Squash
1 Celery Rib
½ cup Dry White Wine
2 cups Water
3 Garlic cloves
2 Sage Leaves (~½ tsp dried)
3 sprigs Thyme (~1 tsp dried)
2 sprigs Rosemary (~1 tsp dried)
1 Bay Leaf
Fresh ground Black Pepper
Let the lamb sit until it reaches room temperature. Season it with sea salt and pepper on all sides.
Heat the oil to high heat (~8 on my oven). When hot, add the lamb. Let the lamb cook for 3 minutes – don’t touch it. You can shake the pan a little to make sure it isn’t sticking to the pan, but otherwise, don’t touch it. After 3 minutes, flip it and cook for another 3 minutes. Then take the lamb out of the pan and sit aside.
Roughly chop the onion into large chunks. With the juices from the lamb, cook the onion until browned (caramelized). Once caramelized, add the lamb, white wine, ½ tsp sea salt, and water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low (~2.5 on my oven), cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
While the lamb is cooking, cut the outer rind, top and bottom off the squash and cube it into 2” chunks. After the 15 minutes are up, flip the lamb and add the squash, celery (chopped into large chunks), chopped garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf. I like to push this all below the lamb, so it is all fully immersed in the liquid, but that’s up to you. Oh, and you should really use fresh spices…especially this time of year, as they are readily available.
Once you’ve added all the ingredients, cover and cook for another 30 minutes. The bones should be falling out of the lamb at this point. When I opened the lid to ours, they were floating at the top…perfect!
Fish out the squash, onions and celery and drain off the liquids. With a hand mixer or masher, mash all ingredients until smooth.
Serve the lamb over the squash and serve!
Don’t forget to follow it up with our delicious Pumpkin Crème Brûlée or Pecan Pie!