Saturday, October 10, 2015


Having 8 or 9 hours to spare, and wanting to have a new smoked meat  adventure I dug out a recipe from the New York Times’ Sam Sifton for Pulled Lamb Shoulder.  And as he’d be the first to admit, it’s not actually not his recipe: it comes a book by Joe Carroll titled Feeding the Fire.

Sifton writes, “Mr. Carroll is hardly barbecue royalty. He’s a home cook from New Jersey with no formal culinary training who runs a small kingdom of bars and restaurants in Brooklyn and Philadelphia devoted to the pleasures of live-fire cooking, most notably Fette Sau and St. Anselm.”  He then adds, “This pulled lamb is an homage to the barbecued mutton of Western Kentucky. Smoke the meat over charcoal and wood, not gas. It’s bonkers delicious.”

Well, I know next to nothing about Western Kentucky or its barbecued mutton, though I’m now on the case.  The big attraction of the recipe was the rub featuring ground expresso beans – along with the usual brown sugar, garlic, cumin and whatnot.  (There’s a link to the recipe at the end of this post.)

Sifton (and perhaps Carroll) display the pulled lamb shoulder like this, which misses some of the grandeur, if you ask me.

Melina Hammer for The New York Times

Mine looked like this when it went in:

And like this when it came out (you understand that it’s not burned to a cinder – the black stuff is the smoked espresso rub):

And it looks like this when you cut (rather than pull) it:

It was indeed “bonkers delicious” – a phrase I shall be using more often from now on).  Not the least of the appeal; there’s still a bag of rub left in the fridge and I’m looking around for other things that need rubbing.  Well, what doesn’t?

That link:

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