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Smoked Lamb Shoulder

Serves 4 to 6


For the brine

  • 2 quarts water
  • 3 1/2 ounces Kosher salt
  • 2 ounces brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 10 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 3- to 5-pound, bone-in lamb shoulder

For the dry rub

  • 1/2 cup coriander seed
  • 1/2 cup black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried fennel
  • 1 tablespoon paprika


  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except lamb, in a large pot and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  2. Place in refrigerator and allow the brine to cool until it is 40°.
  3. When cool, submerge the lamb shoulder in the brine, weighting it down with a bowl if necessary to keep it fully submerged. Refrigerate the brined lamb at least 12 hours, up to 48 hours. Meanwhile, prepare the dry rub (below).
  4. When ready to smoke the lamb, remove it from the brine and pat dry.
  5. Preheat your smoker to 235° and load with it hardwood (apple, alder or cherry).
  6. Coat the lamb liberally with 1 cup of dry rub and place it on smoker rack. Smoke 6 to 8 hours, or until flesh shrinks from the bone and the bone is easily removed.

For the dry rub

  1. Combine all ingredients in spice grinder and grind until coarse.

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