Easy Autumn Dinner! Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce

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Fall weather is here! Fall flavors are here! Fall family togetherness is here! All I want to do through the end of the year is gather my family ‘round the dinner table for a hearty and healthy meal paired with productive, thought-provoking conversation with my three teens. After all, one is leaving the nest next year and the others aren’t far to follow.

Sometimes the dinner chatter is really deep – like the other night my middle son posed the question, “Do you believe that retaliation can ever be justified?”  I’m thinking, “oh no” what happened, who did what to whom? The good news is that these three brothers who usually get along so well, still do – the query was actually one asked in school. Apparently, my son was the only kid who vocalized that retaliation, in any form, is not okay. He said, “If everyone gave an eye for an eye, then the whole world would be blind.”  So true!  Although he paraphrased this wisdom from Ghandi, I still got that warm fuzzy feeling of good parenting — ahhh, I’m doing an awesome job.  Then, youngest son – “I will so smash your computer if you take that last dinner roll.”

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

So, let me just say, there was no retaliation against mom after serving a (gasp) new food to the kids – lamb.  My husband and I have both had lamb in the past, served as chops or roasts with the nasty mint jelly – it’s not something I’ve ever thought to make myself. But, American Lamb sent me a big ole boneless shoulder roast and some votes of confidence that I could create something really delicious with this often overlooked meat.



So, I came up with a fall-inspired recipe for Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Glaze and I served it over some insanely mouth watering Caramalized Onion and Kale Sweet Potatoes – I will share this sweet potato recipe later this week (you do not want to miss it)!

Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce Caramalized Onion Kale Sweet Potatoes Jennifer Fisher

So, these are the things I learned from the lamb experiment. The lamb was delicious and braised up just like a beef chuck roast and shreds up really nicely to serve over sweet potatoes, rice, or even in a sandwich – my kids thought it was really great! I also realized you could easily make this recipe in a slow cooker rather than the Dutch oven – just set it on the low setting and slow cook for 8 – 10 hours.  Another thing I learned is that fresh cranberries lose their color when you cook them all day. That’s okay — I still needed to reduce the sauce down, just threw in some extra. Bam, there you go – meaty, sweet, tangy, total deliciousness.

braised lamb shoulder with cranberry ginger sauce title

Braised Lamb with Cranberry-Ginger Glaze Recipe

  • 1 3 – 4 lb. boneless American lamb shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries (divided)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (divided)
  • ¼ cup honey
  1.  In 6 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium high.
  2. In small bowl, mix together pepper, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and thyme. Rub into lamb roast, coating evenly.
  3.  Add lamb shoulder roast to heated pot and sear for approximately 3 – 4 minutes on each side until browned nicely.
  4. Lower heat and add chopped onions, cranberries, wine, cranberry juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger. Top with lid and simmer on medium to medium low for approximately 3 hours or until fork tender and easy to shred.
  5. Remove roast from pot and discard unwanted fat.  Pour off approximately ½ of cooking juices and add remaining fresh cranberries, remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, and honey.
  6. Simmer this mixture for approximately 15 minutes until cranberries have popped and sauce reduced and thickening.
  7. Serves 8

The American Lamb Board provided me with product for this post, but all thoughts, comments, opinions and recipe are my own.

Just curious , have YOU ever cooked lamb at home before?

16 thoughts on “Easy Autumn Dinner! Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce

  1. This looks REALLY good… and I will admit. I did flinch when I saw that it is lamb. I am not an adventurous eater. 😉 But… there is a first time for everything. 🙂

  2. The last time I had lamb was the night before my stomach surgery – so now I cannot even look at it. Ha Ha! I will pretend this is beef 😉

    • oooooh no! I know what you mean though, I had lobster on the even of getting a bad stomach flu . . . and well, don’t love it so much anymore

  3. OH WOW. I am terrified to show this to my husband, he mind demand it for the rest of his life. And such beautiful pictures!! Wow, just wow.
    And I think when I was a kid my brother and I more just threatened bodily harm to each other over dinner things. Twas before the ages of our own computers and tech. AAAhhhh nostalgia.

    • Thanks Susie! BTW, my brother and I would taunt and tease each other over dessert . . .as in who still had some and who gobbled theirs up first (I was usually the loser and had to watch him flaunt it in front of me)

  4. I am not a big beef eater, but my grandparents are Greek so we grew up eating a lot of lamb and now I usually make it for special occasions or company, which ends up being once every couple months. Lamb chops on the grill are my specialty! SO good. This looks awesome!

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