Oh Well

We had made plans with Chris and Sirkka to get together for dinner, so this morning I pulled a giant (8 lb.) lamb shoulder- complete with ribs that I could have turned into chops if it hadn’t been frozen- and got to work. It was too big to fit in anything but the oven, so I broiled it for a bit to render off some fat and get a good brown on it. Then I stuck it in our giant pot with mirepoix, tomatoes, olives, preserved lemon, espresso, 5-spice, cumin, a bottle of white wine, and a few bits and pieces from the fridge.

After a few hours I came in and hacked it into smaller pieces so they could all be submerged in the liquid. After a few more hours I separated the meat from the fat, strained the liquid into a bowl and put it in the freezer to cool. Once the fat hardened, I pulled it off and added some of the liquid back to the meat on a low simmer. I made garlicky kale pesto and more cranberry tapenade since it’s so good with lamb (and pork; it straddles the two very different meats brilliantly.) I also steamed some parsnips and puréed them with yogurt, feta, vanilla, and truffle oil. Using white wine makes for a more delicate jus, and the tapenade and pesto did very different things to enhance varying aspects of the falling-apart meat.

Meanwhile, our friends had to cancel at the last minute, so Christine and I had it all to ourselves, along with a 1998 Gros Noré Bandol which is a wonderful lamb wine and also went well with a couple of stinky cheeses for dessert: a positively rank taleggio and a blue castello. There’s a ton left; anybody want some?

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  1. cookiecrumb
    March 12

    That looks good. Shreddy.

  2. genevelyn
    March 12

    kale pesto? does this mean the verdant mound besides the parsnips is nuts, cheese and kale?

  3. peter
    March 12

    CC: It’s like lamb pudding.

    G: Kale, garlic, and olive oil (+S&P.) Fantastic with rich meat,and infinitely adaptable.

  4. Heather
    March 12

    Delicious again, Peter. (that was totally a Beastie Boys thing!)

    You pwnd me with your sides. And the confit trick (letting the fat solidify and such) is brill. I will try this trick next time.

  5. peter
    March 12

    H: I don’t have a separator, so that’s how I do it. The sides, yeah, they were pretty good- extra dimensions from which to taste the meat.

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