Braised Lamb

The GriffIn Restaurant | Serves 8

5 lbs. lamb shoulder
1 lb. carrots cut into large pieces
1 lb. celery cut into large pieces
2-3 lbs. yellow onion cut into large pieces
1 oz. of each herb (parsley, thyme, and rosemary)
5 bay leaves (dried)
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper
5 cloves garlic
1 bottle red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon) 
2 16-oz. cans chicken stock 

Brine the lamb in a 2% salt solution for up to 12 hours. Remove from brine, set on a rack, and pat with paper towels to dry the surface. Heat a large pan (big enough for your piece of lamb) on the stovetop and add a small pool of canola oil to the bottom. Generously salt the fat cap on the lamb shoulder and sear that side down until there is a nice crust. Remove your lamb and place in a large oven-safe vessel large enough to hold the chicken stock, wine, vegetables and herbs. 

Add vegetables to the same pan in which the lamb was seared and cook gently for 5 minutes or so. Add the red wine and reduce by half. Once the red wine is reduced, add the chicken stock. When the liquid comes to a simmer, carefully pour the vegetables and liquid over the lamb. 

Make sure the lamb is three-quarters of the way submerged. If it is not, add water. Add herbs, garlic, bay leaves and crushed red pepper. 

Wrap the braising pan in plastic wrap twice, then aluminum foil twice.

Put the covered lamb in a 250° oven for 4 hours. When finished, strain the braising liquid into the braising pan. Reserve the lamb. Reduce braising liquid by half.

Preparing the Dish:
Pasta (cooked)
Picked lamb
Diced carrots, celery and reduced braising liquid
Salt and pepper to taste
Minced garlic and ginger, to taste
Sherry vinegar preferred (lemon as a substitute)

Get a medium sauté pan hot. Add a little oil and add carrots, celery and onion. A little minced garlic and ginger will really take this dish to the next level. The vegetables start to caramelize, add the sherry vinegar to stop it from overcooking. If using a gas range, take the pan off the flame before this step as you risk catching a flare-up. If using lemon, use water.

Add reduced braising liquid and lamb at this point. Let it reduce slightly. Add pasta and a nice chunk of butter. Once the butter is fully emulsified into the sauce, finish with salt, pepper and some lime juice. 

This dish is beautiful when finished with some fresh chopped herbs and topped with some grated Parmesan cheese, and will pair well with a fuller bodied red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon.