1 lamb shoulder, bone in
For the Marinade:
150 mL of inexpensive Armagnac or Cognac
8 bird's eye chilies
8 cloves of garlic
200 mL of good extra virgin olive oil
the stems of any herbs you may have in your refrigerator
For the Baste:
1 bulb garlic
3 stalks of celery
4 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs thyme
1 bulb fennel
2 quarts chicken stock, lamb stock or water
Pound 50 mL of the Armagnac and the Marinade ingredients in a mortar and pestle (or a blender if you must).
Rub the paste all over the lamb and let marinate in the refrigerator
In a large cast iron cocotte or roasting pan, sear the lamb
shoulder on all sides over medium-high heat. Be patient and allow
the lamb to develop a nice golden brown crust. Once this is complete,
pull the lamb from the pot and add the mirepoix vegetales. Sweat
the veg. Deglaze with the remaining Armagnac. Return the lamb
to the pot and add the stock. Bring liquid to a boil and cover.
Place in a 225 degree oven. Baste every hour. The shoulder will
take anywhere from 6-9 hours. Jiggle the shoulder blade, when
bone is very loose with no resistance, shoulder is done.
- Cavatelli, garganelli or any high quality, short, fresh pasta.
Tomme de Berger or any similar, soft sheep's milk cheese
Ossau de Vielle or any comparable hard sheep's milk cheese
- Cook pasta until just about done. Warm cream in a pan, add pasta
and toss, add cubes of Tomme de Berger and toss until melted and
pasta is well coated. Pour pasta into a serving dish and finish
with grated Osssau de Vielle.
Slice the Lamb or serve it whole, allowing your guests to share
in the delight of pulling the tender meat from the bone.
- Any sort of green would go nicely with this dish. If puntarelle
is available, make a salad and toss with an anchovy, garlic, evo
and lemon juice vinaigrette. Also, sautéed bitter greens
would be an excellent accompaniment