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Hickory-Maple Pulled Lamb Shoulder

Yield: 12 servings.

12 lb. lamb shoulder, bone-in
1 qt. onions, chopped
1⁄4 cup garlic, chopped
1⁄3 cup hickory barbecue spice blend
2 cups apple cider
2 cups reserved lamb juices
1⁄2 cup maple syrup
2 cups hickory barbecue sauce
12 hamburger buns, seeded, toasted, or 3” cornbread squares, split
3 cups sweet creamy coleslaw

Spread onions and garlic in an even layer in roasting pan. Place lamb shoulder on top of onion-garlic layer; pat spice blend onto lamb to coat evenly. Cover tightly with foil. Bake in 275°F convection oven (or 325°F conventional oven) for at least 4 to 5 hours or until tender and falling off the bone. Remove from heat. Let lamb rest 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove pan juices from pan and place in a container; cover and chill. Once cold, remove top layer of fat from juices. Discard fat and reserve juices. Pull meat from roasted lamb shoulder; roughly chop and place in a full-size hotel pan.

In a saucepan, add cider, lamb juices and syrup. Heat to boiling. Lower heat; reduce mixture by half, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in barbecue sauce; simmer 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature (yields 1 quart). Pour 3 cups of the simmered sauce over top of pulled lamb and toss to coat well; cover and chill.

Cover and bake pulled lamb in 300°F convection oven (or 350°F conventional oven) for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

To serve: For each serving, spoon 1 cup barbecue lamb shoulder onto a toasted piece of split cornbread or hamburger bun with extra sauce on the side; top with 1⁄4 cup coleslaw. Pulled lamb can be served over pasta or roasted vegetables if desired.

Recipe and Photograph: American Lamb Board

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