heritage foods
Heritage Bone-in Lamb Shoulder by Zak Pelaccio, NYC

Serves 4


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
sea salt
black pepper

For the Baste:
1 bulb garlic
5 shallots
3 stalks of celery
4 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs thyme
1 carrot
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 overnight.

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