EAT This Week: Sage Leaf’s Red Wine Braised Lamb Shoulder

This week’s featured dish is Sage Leaf’s Red Wine Braised Lamb Shoulder.
Robert Galloway/Tahoe Daily Tribune

To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next.

With our recent return to winter after a month or so hiatus, all those hearty dishes that warm the soul and go hand-in-hand with cold weather have come back around. Maybe none more so than this week’s feature. And given the fact that Sage Leaf has recently added a dinner service, you can eat this and head straight for the pajamas and curl up in front of the fire to complete the home-y feeling this invokes.

There’s a lot going on with this dish so let’s unpack each component starting with the fresh California lamb. There’s absolutely no gaminess to it whatsoever. It’s seared on the grill then thrown into a bath that includes red wine, veal stock, aromatic herbs, molasses, and black garlic – that’s my kind of bath. It cooks for about four-and-a-half to five hours until it’s tender (like melting in your mouth tender) and ready to be portioned off for service.

That braising liquid gets reduced with a little butter and gets added to blanched broccolini and the lamb for a quick sear in the oven. They are joined on the plate over a silky roasted garlic potato puree then surrounded with an avocado chimichurri. The chimichurri gets playful with basil, cilantro, red wine vinegar, and comes together with the avocado that drives more creaminess than the traditional oil usage for this sauce.

Finally (I know, there’s a lot going on), fresh horseradish is microplaned over the top looking like snowfall that I just want to drop into and start doing snow angels. If you’re thinking the horseradish might be a little overpowering, the fresh version is much more delicate than what you’re probably more familiar with. It does provide a little punch, but it’s much lighter and adds a nice complexity to the dish.

It’s rustic, rich, buttery, light, tender, tangy, and I could probably keep adding in adjectives until you get the idea, but I think we’re already there. You just need to try for yourself and add your own.

Sage Leaf is located at 893 Tahoe Blvd. Ste. 600 in Incline Village. For menu, new hours of operation and more information visit them on the web at or by give them a call at 775-413-5005.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.