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Braised Shoulder of Lamb

I love the shoulder, it takes so much better to the marinade than the leg. It doesn't cut into pretty slices: in reality you'll be slicing big chunks at the end, but it is one of the most satisfying dishes in the world! I'll replace the image as soon as I'll do it again.


Ingredients:

  • 1 full shoulder of lamb (I'll specify the quantity next time I cook it)

  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 7-8 big cloves of garlic

  • 1 Tbsp of freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tsp of fine salt

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 Lit of dry wine

  • 300ml of vegetable or beef broth (if needed)

  • 1 big carrot, peeled and cubed

  • 2 stalks of celery, washed and cubed

  • 1 big brown onion, cubed

  • 1 slug of vegetable oil


Method:

  • Remove from the shoulder any big pieces of fat (there are loads!) and don't worry if doing so means that the shoulder stops being a round shape, it'll end up looking a little like a book

  • Wash the rosemary and tear the leaves from the stalks

  • Wash the bay leaves if fresh, prepare the carrots, the celery and the onion

  • Mix all the above well, massaging the rosemary (add the pepper and the salt at this stage) into the meat, with the vegetables

  • Add the wine, then store it into a closed pot, or a food pastic bag, in the fridge at least overnight (up to 1 day if needed) - turn the lamb half way to ensure it's always bathing in the wine

  • Remove the lamb and pat dry with kitchen paper

  • Strain the vegetables and herbs onto kitchen paper, but take care of reserving the liquid marinade

  • Make sure both the lamb and the vegetables have been drying out for at least half an hour

  • Pre-heat the oven at 200 degrees C.

  • Get your big Dutch Oven (a tall pot of heavy iron, coated in ceramic porcelain and with a lid) and heat up a slug of vegetable oil

  • Add the vegetables and herbs and stir fry them well, until slightly browned

  • Add the lamb, keeping the heat high, and let it brown on all sides

  • Add the marinade liquid, and then add the reserved broth if needed to reach the surface (and a tiny more) of the lamb

  • Cover the pot and place it into the middle shelf of the oven, reducing the temperature to 150 degrees C.

  • Cook undisturbed for 2 hours (I'll adjust this as soon as I cook this again and I get the weight of the shoulder) - the meat should be tender when ready, so that you break it down in pieces with a fork

  • Remove from the oven when ready, turn it over but cover it again with the lid until you're ready to serve

  • Before serving you have a choice: after removing the lamb from the pot for cutting it, either place all the vegetables in a blender and puree it (but do remove the bay leaves!) to serve it with, or sieve them and serve it with just the smooth thin sauce

  • Serve it with roasties

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