You are familiar with using a pork shoulder, which is usually slowly smoked to perfection and then used to make delectable pulled pork sandwiches. But have you tried the same method with a lamb shoulder, and using that elegant, flavorful meat to make pulled lamb?
As with all tutorials, each pic below will have a summary of steps which will give you the tips you need to cook tender and tasty pulled lamb.
We kick of with a Lamb Shoulder, roughly 4kg in weight. This part of the animal works hard, so the meat from a lamb’s shoulder is full of flavour. It takes a while to become tender, but this means it’s a great choice for low and slow. To maximise the flavour, cook lamb shoulder on the bone so the meat simply falls apart when pulled with a fork. Thankfully there's not much prep required. I like to remove all the hard fat from the top and bottom of the shoulder. The remaining fat will render down and keep the meat moist and succulent.
The night before - I sprayed the lamb with a good olive oil and applied a good amount of Tree Bark all over the cut. You can still see the meat so I haven't gone too nuts with the rub. The Lamb has a great flavour so you don't want to overpower that with the rub.
Preheat your smoker to 250 - 275F (at grate level) and place lamb in smoker. This went on at 8.00am. I like to lightly sprinkle the lamb again with rub just prior to placing into the smoker. My fire consisted of a Charcoal bed at start up with the gradual adding of Ironbark to form a hot bed of embers. When at temp I added one chunk of Mulberry and one chunk of Cherry into the firebox. Once the Fruitwood smoke expired I added the same again. I continue to do this for the first 3hrs of the cook. The flavour cherry wood produces is light and sweet. It is delicate and not overpowering. This makes cherry a good wood mix with others such as apple, oak or pecan. Mulberry produces a sweet smelling smoke similar to apple and imparts a great flavour into any meat cut. Pairs very well with cherry.
2 hours in.
3.5 hours in.
5hrs in. Internal temp has hit 165f so it's time to wrap. We have a great colour from the rub and it is still moist and has taken on the smoke from the Cherry and Mulberry Using a thick aluminium foil, tear 2 strips big enough to wrap the lamb tightly. Fold up the edges of the foil and place approx. a third of a cup beef stock around the perimeter of the lamb (do not pour over the top of the cut) Wrap tightly and place back into smoker.
3pm (7hrs in) Lamb has reached the target temperature of 195f. Remove wrapped lamb from smoker, wrap in towel and rest in esky for at least 1hr. This is the result after resting. Meat has pulled away from the bone and we have kept the juices from the aluminium wrap. You're now ready to pull!
Another shot showing the meat pulling away from the bone. This bone was able to be removed with little effort.
Shred the lamb into nice bite sized portions using either 2 forks, bear claws or your hands (be sure to have cotton gloves under your latex gloves to ensure you don't get burnt!). Letting the lamb rest will ensure all the meat retains its moisture and will not become dry. I serve as per pic and guests can add any sauce/s they wish prior to eating. I poured a little of the reserved juice over the meat just prior to serving. Delicious!
Total time from placing into smoker to eating - 8.50hrs. A 4kg Lamb Shoulder will feed approx. 8-10 guests.
Cooked correctly, Pulled Lamb will be a favourite of yours and your guests. It is super easy to do and the flavour of smoked lamb is sensational, especially with the Greenwoods Tree Bark!
Greenwoods Tree Bark - The Tree Bark rub is a perfect addition to any low 'n' slow cooked, grilled or roasted meat. This rub is an Aussie twist on the traditional barbecue dry rub.
Instructions: Lightly rub meat with a small amount of oil before generously seasoning. Generally, 20g of rub will season approximately 2kg of meat.
Ingredients: Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Herbs and Spices. Serving size: 20g | Servings per package: 5
Sucklebusters Original BBQ Sauce - SuckleBusters Original is the winningest BBQ Sauce in Texas! Our all-natural, vinegar based BBQ sauce is Sweet, Tangy & Spicy. It has very slightly smoke flavor plus a little kick of heat and is an excellent all-around BBQ sauce. Great for Grilling! Use it on barbecue beef, briskets, steaks, ribs, chicken, sausage, pork, seafood, turkey or any grilled food to bust out a good barbecue flavor.Baste it on during the last few minutes of grilling to create a sticky-sweet layer of barbecue flavor or pour it on just before serving. It makes a great dipping sauce and kids love it too! Frankly, this is the best BBQ Sauce made in Texas.
Ironbark - By a long shot, the pick of the bunch for smoking (for both heat and flavour) is ironbark for all red meat. Also excellent with pork and chicken.
Ironbark has excellent burning qualities and adds a subtle smoke flavour. It has good all-round flavour and burns hot and long.
All of our Vintage Ironbark is seasoned for a minimum of 10yrs with less than 9% moisture content.Certainly a favourite here at Ironwood Smokers.
Mulberry - When mulberry wood is burned, it produces a sweet smelling smoke similar to apple. It is a good choice for imparting flavor into poultry, fish, and pork. Also fantastic with Lamb.
Cherry - A subtle sweet fruity flavor. (mixes well with oak and apple)Pair well with Beef, chicken, turkey, game birds, pork & vegetables. A great pairing for ham also.
Clean Heat Eco Charcoal - This hardwood charcoal is the same as the restaurant grade only smaller pieces better suited to smaller domestic bbqs like Weber kettles, Weber Jumbo Joe, Weber Smokey Joe, Weber Smokey Mountains, Weber Go Anywhere, ProQ verticals and Hibacci style BBQs
Clean Heat Charcoal is manufactured in South Africa from Colophospermum mopane, commonly called mopane, mophane, mopani, is a tree in the family (Fabaceae), that grows in hot, dry, low-lying areas, 200 to 1,150 metres (660 to 3,770 ft) in elevation, in the far northern parts of Southern Africa.
Mopani hardwood inhibits the growth of short grass which impacts heavily on the food supply for native Sth African grazing animals such as Rhino, Impala and Springbok. Above all, Mopani lump wood charcoal and briquettes are a renewable product. Not only are you offering tremendous flavour at your next barbecue but you are also choosing a positive environmental option.