Our friends at the American Lamb Board share this recipe for Cider-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Cardamom, Butternut Squash and Greens.
Made with American Lamb stew meat in your slow cooker, it’s seasoned with chard, onion, garlic, cardamom and pepper. After cooking for a short time, you add squash, apple cider, a cinnamon stick, a bay leaf and cloves to simmer for 6-8 hours.
Perfect for cold winter days, especially when it’s topped with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkled with cilantro. – Editor
- 2 pounds American Lamb stew meat or shoulder cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes, patted dry
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated, coarsely chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch dice
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup water
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- Greek yogurt, to garnish
- Fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish
- 1 In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When you begin to see wisps of smoke, add the lamb to the pan in a single layer; season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook until lamb is deeply browned on all sides, 15-20 minutes. Transfer meat to a 5 to 6-1/2 quart slow cooker using a slotted spoon, reserving the fat in the pan.
- 2 Reduce heat to medium; add chard stems (reserving the leaves to add later), onion and garlic to the pan. Add a little more oil if necessary. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender and lightly charred, 3-5 minutes. Stir in cardamom and pepper; cook until distributed evenly and aromatic, about 1 minute. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker. Add water to the sauté pan, scraping the bottom to release the flavorful stuck-on bits; pour it into the slow cooker.
- 3 Add squash to the slow cooker; pour in cider. Submerge cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cloves in the liquid; season with remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook on low setting until the meat is tender and shreds easily with a fork and vegetables are very tender, 6-8 hours.
- 4 Discard bay leaf. Gently stir in chard leaves; continue cooking until wilted and just tender, about 5-10 minutes.
- 5 Serve the stew in warm shallow bowls topped with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkled with cilantro.