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Volume 78

Dinner This Week: Braised Lamb Shoulder

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops, Chorizo and Potato Tacos, and Teriyaki Tofu for dinner in about an hour.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

Dinner 1: Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops with Tomatoes and Red Wine starts with a relatively tender cut that doesn't require a long cooking time. In just about 20 minutes, the chops reach the desired doneness after simmering in a simple yet flavorful sauce of dry red wine, chopped canned tomatoes, and garlic. For Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chives with a well-browned exterior and tender interior, you need high, dry heat and a low-sided roasting pan that is large enough to accommodate the vegetables without crowding.

Printable Shopping Lists: Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Equipment Review 12-Inch Stainless-Steel Skillets

Our longtime favorite 12-inch pan by All-Clad faces new competition. Is it still the best choice?

Dinner 2: Chorizo and Potato Tacos and Avocado Salad

For our Chorizo and Potato Tacos, we start by making our own juicy, highly seasoned chorizo: We mix ground pork with ancho chile powder and spices that have been bloomed in oil to bring out their flavors. We cook the pork mixture in a skillet and add parboiled diced potatoes that absorb the flavorful pork fat and juices as they finish cooking. Mashing some of the potatoes makes the filling more cohesive. For a balanced Avocado Salad with Mango and Jicama, we pair buttery avocados with a highly acidic dressing to cut their richness. We emulsify the vinaigrette with a bit of mayonnaise to ensure cling. Arranging the mango and jicama on top of the dressed avocado maximizes visual appeal by preventing the avocado from turning the salad murky.

Printable Shopping Lists: Chorizo and Potato Tacos and Avocado Salad

Equipment Review The Best Digital Instant-Read Thermometers of 2021

We've recommended a Thermapen for more than a decade, but there's new competition. Is it still the best digital food thermometer?

Dinner 3: Teriyaki Tofu and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy

Teriyaki Tofu starts with making from-scratch teriyaki sauce with soy sauce, sugar, mirin, garlic, ginger, and cornstarch. To encourage the tofu to absorb as much flavor as possible, we cut it into slabs and bake it in the slow, gentle heat of the oven. To make up for the liquid that the tofu sheds as it cooks, we overreduce the sauce to start. As the tofu bakes, it releases water into the concentrated sauce, diluting it to just the right flavor and thickness. Sautéed Baby Bok Choy with Miso Sauce is lightly steamed to soften the stems before being quickly sautéed. A mixture of white miso and mirin forms the base of a salty-sweet sauce.

Printable Shopping Lists: Teriyaki Tofu and Sautéed Baby Bok Choy


View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.