Recipe Blog 4: Lamb Shoulder

The lamb is a special meat; make sure to honor it.


Oliver Hinson

If you’re aiming to impress someone, this is the way to go.

Oliver Hinson

I’ll be honest: this one got out of hand.

Typically, I’m a planning-oriented guy. I like to know exactly what I’ll be doing at every moment in the near future. It takes a lot of the pressure off of decision-making, and it helps me stick to my word. It turns spontaneity into an enemy — even if it takes a rather exhausting amount of effort to contain it.

Occasionally, though, something will slip through the cracks. Recklessness often acts as a virus, breaking the will of even the strongest men while presenting no cure. It is railed against in daily life, yet embraced with ease when no one is watching.

To be honest, I think that’s what happened with this lamb. Someone probably should have been watching me as I wandered over to its home, hoping I would catch a glance yet praying it wouldn’t captivate me. First of all, I can’t even afford lamb. It may be nature’s most glorious meat, but it definitely has a superiority complex. No food should be that expensive.

And yet, I still grab it and gently place it in my cart, like a fool. I even try to tell myself, “this isn’t part of the plan.” I was supposed to have a nice soup tonight. Light, simple, inexpensive.

This is anything but. This is going to take an incredible amount of time and dedication that I simply don’t have. But I have to do it. The lamb requires sacrifice, an offering of blood, sweat, and tears. I’m not sure why it chose me. How am I worthy? What have I done to deserve this?

Truly, I have nobody to blame but myself. I’ve made my choice, and now I have to honor it. So let us commence.

Preparation is the most important part of cooking. Contrary to popular belief, the lamb does NOT do all the work itself. (Oliver Hinson)

Like other red meats, lamb stores bacteria on its surface, so anything above a medium rare is unnecessary, if not sacrilegious. A quick sear in the pan is all that’s needed — nothing more than a few minutes on each side.

Second: make sure you have a scalding hot pan. You don’t want to overcook the inside, but you definitely don’t want a dull, uninspired outer surface. The crust arguably makes the meat, so unless you hear a frighteningly bold sizzle when the lamb hits the pan, there’s not enough heat.

It’s also important to use the right oils. Fat is commonly referred to as the “vehicle” of flavor, and if used correctly, it can transform a dish. A dish like lamb is synonymous with Greek cuisine, and given this, it makes sense that the most effective choice is olive oil. Many are wary about exposing high heat to unsaturated fats due to the fact that they can easily be damaged, but olive oil is widely considered effective for frying, and the robust, even bitter flavor that it gives off pairs well with lamb. However, pairing it with butter is also a common step, and it’s what I’d recommend for this recipe.

For a side dish, sticking with the Greek theme is often the way to go, and in my opinion, there’s nothing more effective than a simple lemon pepper rice. Be sure to thoroughly wash and soak your rice to remove the extra starch and avoid making a sticky paste.

If you follow all of these steps, you’ll find yourself on a culinary journey reminiscent of Magellan’s greatest expeditions.


Ingredients – Lamb shoulder:

  • 8 to 12 oz lamb shoulder chops
  • 8 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Seasonings (as desired):

The lamb should have a nice crust when finished. (Oliver Hinson)
  • Oregano
  • Greek seasoning
  • Mint
  • Crushed rosemary
  • Garlic powder
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black peppercorns


1. Set out lamb to rest at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes. This is a crucial step; you don’t want to cook the lamb when it is still cold. Don’t salt right away, either; that will draw the moisture out of the meat.

2. When the lamb has reached room temperature, season with desired seasonings on both sides. Brush both sides heavily with olive oil. Place 4 tbsp butter in a cast iron pan on high heat. Do not use a nonstick pan; they are not good conductors of heat and will not give you a good crust.

3. When pan is scalding hot, place lamb in the center and do not move except to flip after a quick sear. Do not cook for more than 2 minutes on each side at most.

4. After both sides are cooked, turn heat down to a low simmer and add rest of butter. Baste (use a spoon and drizzle melted butter over the lamb) constantly for at least five minutes.

5. Enjoy, knowing you are dining as the gods do.


Ingredients – Lemon pepper rice:

  • 2/3 cup uncooked white rice, rinsed and soaked
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • Freshly ground black peppercorns as desired


1. Rinse rice thoroughly and soak for at least 20 minutes. Make sure water is at least 1 inch above rice.

2. Add butter and garlic to medium heat. When butter has melted, add rice.

3. Quickly after, add chicken broth. Turn heat to low simmer and cover pan with lid. Cook rice until all liquid has evaporated.

4. When liquid has evaporated, remove lid and keep at low simmer. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and ground peppercorns and stir.

5. Pair with lamb for an exquisite culinary experience.

When the rice is done, it should take an off-white color and give off a strong lemon scent. (Oliver Hinson)


Servings: 1. This is all for you, king.


To be honest, there’s not that many recipes that can beat this. It may have been a spontaneous choice, but after taking one bite, all thoughts of practicality fly out the window. Enjoy.