Suckling Lamb Shoulder with Apricots and North African Spices

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Spice Blend

Grind each spice separately using a mortar, then mix together, allowing 1 1/4 teaspoons (5 g) of the mixture for each shoulder.

Step 2: Lamb

Remove the nerves and the fatty parts from the insides of the shoulders. Remove the tips of the bones. Score the skin slightly, and season with the fleur de sel and the spice mix.

Brown the shoulders in a hot sauté pan, and set aside on a rack. Cool in a flash freezer.

Put the lamb in a sous-vide bag along with the stewed onions (prepared below), thyme tips and apricots (seal 6, pressure 2.8), cook in 145°F (62 °C) water for 36 hours to reach 145°F (62 °C) internal temperature.

Once cooked, cool over ice.

Step 3: Stewed Onions

Peel the onions and thinly slice, removing the cores. Set aside in a bowl, sprinkle with olive oil, and season with fleur de sel.

Sweat the onions in a cast iron pot over a low heat. Add the garlic cloves and caramelize. Cool in a flash freezer.

Step 4: Finishing and Plating

Open the sous-vide bags, pour the contents into a sauté pan, and glaze in a 355°F (180°C) oven with 1/2 cup (10 cl) lamb jus.

Stir often to glaze the meat. Add a pinch of the spice blend while cooking to enhance the flavor.

When cooked, the shoulders should be very tender, the apricots heavy with juice, and the onions caramelized.

Place the shoulders on the serving plates and spread with the apricots, onions, and sauce.

In the sauté pan, combine of 6 3/4 ounces (20 cl) lamb jus and fresh thyme. Place in a saucepan, and drizzle over the meat at the table.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits