Braised Lamb Shoulder with Tomato Couscous and Jus


  • 1 lamb shoulder (3 to 5 pounds), boned and tied
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • ½ cup ginger root, sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 spring fresh tarragon
  • 1½ tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground clove
  • 1 bottle (750ml) dry red wine
  • 1¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup whole canned plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 cup pineapple, small dice
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 ounces honey
  • 2 unsalted butter unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3½ cups couscous
  • Zest of 3 lemons
  • 2½ cups tomato concasse
  • 16 ounces baby arugula


Season lamb generously with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat and sear shoulder until browned all over; set aside. If needed, add remaining olive oil and sweat onions, ginger, carrot and garlic for a minute and add herbs and remaining seasonings. Return lamb to Dutch oven. Add wine, sugar, tomatoes, pineapple and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and braise in a preheated 325F oven for 2½ to 3 hours or until fork tender. Remove roast to rest, strain jus through chinoise and skim fat.

At service, make couscous by bringing water to boil and add honey, butter and salt. Add couscous and cover, 5 minutes. Fluff with zest. To place, slice lamb, pair with 1 cup couscous, top with tomato and garnish with arugula. Makes 8 to 10 servings. 

Chef Ressul Rassallat; Tapenade, Los Angeles