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?