Slow Club’s Zinfandel Braised Lamb Shoulder with Gremolata

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 4 hours

Serves: 8

Ingredients

3-4 Pound Niman Ranch lamb shoulder roast, boned and tied

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons cracked black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 12 oz can chopped tomato

1 1/2 cups Zinfandel

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

2 bay leaves

4 cups chicken stock

Gremolata:

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 tablespoons parsley, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

Directions

To marinate the lamb shoulder:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, lemon zest, black pepper, garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Rub the lamb shoulder with the herb and olive oil mixture. Season well with salt and black pepper. Place the shoulder on a plate, cover and marinate for 4 hours or overnight.

To braise the lamb shoulder:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Place the lamb shoulder in the pan and add two tablespoons of butter. Sear the lamb approximately 3–4 minutes on each side, until it is entirely brown.  Remove the shoulder to a large ovenproof pan at least 4 inches deep.
  3. Discard the fat from the sauté pan. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the pan.
  4. Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until lightly caramelized, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.  Add the tomato, zinfandel, rosemary, thyme, oregano and bay leaf.
  5. Reduce the liquid by half. Add the chicken stock and return to a simmer.
    Pour the hot braising liquid over the lamb, covering at least 3/4 of the lamb shoulder. Place a lid on the pan and roast for approximately 4 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat is 210º.  While the lamb is braising, make the gremolata.
  6. In a small bowl combine the garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To finish the dish:

  1. Remove the braised lamb to a cutting board. While the meat is resting, use a large spoon or a small ladle to skim any fat that has risen to the surface of the braising liquid. Transfer a portion of the hot liquid and vegetables to a food mill or blender jar. To avoid spillover, puree the sauce in small batches until smooth.
  2. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and return to a simmer. Reduce the sauce for approximately 10 minutes or until the thickened sauce coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
  3. Adjust the seasoning if needed by adding salt and freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in the remaining two tablespoons of butter.
  4. Stir in the reserved gremolata.
  5. Cut the string from the lamb and carve into 1/2-inch slices. Place on large platter and pour warm sauce over meat. Serve immediately.
  6. In a small bowl combine the garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.