Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops

4 lamb shoulder blade chops or bone-in lamb chops
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 heads garlic, peeled and left whole
2 heads crushed garlic
3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into large chunks
2 medium celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 whole dried bay leaves
1.5 liters lamb or beef stock

1. Pre-heat slow cooker on high or position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Trim excess fat from the lamb and sprinkle all sides with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

3. In a large cast-iron pan or skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until smoking. Sear the lamb on all sides, around 2 minutes per side.

4. Add to the skillet the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, onions, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and stock. Bring to a simmer and then transfer to a roasting pan or slow cooker. Any vegetables, potatoes or brussels sprouts can be added, if desired.

5. If using a slow cooker, cook for 3 hours on high. If using a roasting pan, cover with foil, transfer to the oven, and roast until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone, about 2 hours.

6. Allow the lamb to cool in its braising liquid for about 45 minutes. The braising liquid may be strained, skimmed and then reduced to make a gravy.

Photo Credit: Seattle Times Recipe Credits: Epicurious
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