Go Back Email Link
+ servings

Whiskey Braised Lamb with Blackberries & Goat Cheese Sauce

Smothered in sweet blackberry gravy and creamy goat cheese sauce, this whiskey braised lamb shoulder is an impressive dinner for any special occasion.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword blackberry, dinner, lamb, mutton, roast
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 6 servings


Whiskey Braised Lamb Shoulder & Gravy

  • 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 cup whiskey
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups blackberries, divided
  • 5 twigs fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Barley & Sweet Potato Medley

  • 1 1/3 cup beef broth
  • ¾ cups barley
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, diced small
  • ½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Goat Cheese Sauce

  • ½ cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 ounces creamy goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped


Braise the lamb:

  • Heat the oven to 325 degrees F and let the lamb sit out for about 20 minutes, to remove the chill. In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Saute 3-5 minutes, until soft. Rub the lamb shoulder down with the salt and pepper. In the dutch oven with the onions, brown the lamb on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the lamb and set it aside for now.
  • Deglaze the bottom of the dutch oven with the whiskey and scrape up any browned bits. Reduce the whiskey by half. Add the beef broth, bay leaves, and two cups blackberries to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add back in the seared lamb shoulder and tuck the tarragon around the meat. Cover and transfer the pot to the oven and braise the lamb until fork-tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. When cooked through, transfer the lamb to a cutting board to rest.

Reduce the blackberry gravy:

  • Strain the liquid from the dutch oven and return it to the dutch oven. Discard the solids. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, and then add in the remaining half cup blackberries. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Mash the berries in the pot and stir in the flour to thicken. Set aside and keep warm.

Make the barley & sweet potato medley:

  • While the lamb is braising, combine the beef broth and the barley together in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Let stand 5 minutes, and then drain out any excess water.
  • At the same time, melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the diced sweet potatoes, thyme, paprika, and salt and saute 10-15 minutes until tender. Add the cooked barley to the pan and toss the ingredients together until combined and cooked through. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Make the goat cheese sauce:

  • Heat the beef broth in a saute pan until it simmers. Whisk in the yogurt, honey, salt, and pepper, and then add the goat cheese. Let it melt, and whisk into the mixture. Stir in the fresh tarragon and set the sauce aside. It does not have to keep warm – room temperature is fine.

To serve:

  • Slice the lamb shoulder and serve alongside the barley medley, topped with blackberry gravy and a spoonful of goat cheese sauce. Enjoy!