Cider-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Cardamom, Butternut Squash, and Greens

Cider-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Cardamom, Butternut Squash, and Greens
Contributor
Cider-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Cardamom, Butternut Squash, and Greens
American Lamb Board
Cider-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Cardamom, Butternut Squash, and Greens

A rich slow-cooker stew to warm you up on cold winter days. Apple cider lends some sweetness to earthy slow-cooked lamb. Recipe courtesy of the American Lamb Board.

4
Servings
693
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3  Tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  Pounds  lamb stew meat, or lamb shoulder cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, patted dry
  • 2  Teaspoons  kosher salt
  • bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated, coarsely chopped
  • large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch dice
  • cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2  Teaspoons  ground cardamom
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 1  Cup  water
  • 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut in 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2  Cups  apple cider
  • cinnamon stick
  • bay leaf
  • whole cloves
  • Greek yogurt, for topping
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When you begin to see wisps of smoke, add the lamb to the pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the lamb is deeply browned on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the meat to a 5- to 6 ½-quart slow cooker using a slotted spoon, reserving the fat in the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the chard stems (reserving the leaves to add later), onions, and garlic to the pan (add a little more olive oil if necessary). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender and lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cardamom and pepper and cook until distributed evenly and aromatic, about 1 minute. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker. Add the water to the sauté pan and scrape the bottom to release the flavorful stuck-on bits, then pour it into the slow cooker.

Add the butternut squash to the slow cooker, and pour in the apple cider. Submerge the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cloves in the liquid, and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Set the slow cooker to the low setting and cook until the meat is tender and shreds easily with a fork and the vegetables are very tender, 6 to 8 hours.

Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Gently stir in the chard leaves and continue cooking until wilted and just tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the stew in warm shallow bowls topped with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkled with cilantro.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
33g
47%
Sugar
10g
11%
Saturated Fat
17g
71%
Cholesterol
247mg
82%
Carbohydrate, by difference
17g
13%
Protein
78g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
66µg
9%
Vitamin B-12
6µg
100%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
39mg
52%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
11µg
12%
Calcium, Ca
84mg
8%
Choline, total
297mg
70%
Fiber, total dietary
1g
4%
Fluoride, F
40µg
1%
Folate, total
70µg
18%
Iron, Fe
10mg
56%
Magnesium, Mg
82mg
26%
Niacin
15mg
100%
Pantothenic acid
2mg
40%
Phosphorus, P
517mg
74%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
89µg
100%
Sodium, Na
210mg
14%
Water
262g
10%
Zinc, Zn
15mg
100%

Lamb Shopping Tip

Look for meat that is bright red. Red meat turns paler as the hemoglobin within releases oxygen – a sign that the meat has been sitting too long at the butcher's counter.

Lamb Cooking Tip

When browning meat, resist the urge to move the meat – you must allow a flavorful crust to form over high heat. Once it has formed, the meat should slide freely with the shake of a pan.

Lamb Wine Pairing

Most red wines, especially cabernet sauvignon, but also including cabernet franc, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nebbiolo, nero d'avola, primitivo, barbera, and sangiovese.