This dish was inspired by a sous vide lamb shoulder I had in Paris. I do not have a sous vide machine but found this very slow method of cooking the shoulder produced similarly succulent results. Use chili flakes if espelette are not available. Slip out the blade bone (it comes away easily) and the shoulder is easy to carve. I cooked this overnight and reheated when I needed it.
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2 kilograms (4 pounds) shoulder of lamb on the bone
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 cloves garlic, stem end removed
1 cup chopped onions
12 small fingerling potatoes, scrubbed, cut in half if large
1 cup beef or chicken stock
Pinch of espelette pepper
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce, optional
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Season lamb well with salt and pepper. Place in heavy ovenproof pot so the roast fits snugly. Scatter rosemary and garlic over lamb.
Preheat oven to 160F. Cover roast, place in oven and leave for 14 hours. Add onions, potatoes, stock and espelette, and return cover. Leave for another 6 hours or until lamb is very tender.
Remove lamb from pot and skim fat from sauce. Peel garlic. Place pot on stove over high heat. Bring sauce and potatoes to a boil and reduce until flavours have intensified, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in soy sauce for colour if desired.
Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat. Remove string from lamb and place fat-side down in pan and brown for about 2 minutes. Turn and brown all sides of lamb.
To reheat later: Place lamb and sauce in a covered gratin dish and reheat for 30 minutes at 325 F. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Suggested Wine Pairings
The lamb is a glorious way to show off a fine red (and vice versa). If you’ve got a dusty Châteauneuf-du-Pape kicking around in the basement, haul it out. The meat took 24 hours to cook; you might as well honour it with something that’s been waiting patiently, too. The herbal nuances of Châteauneuf-du-Pape resonate with the flavourings here, and the ample fruit will complement the meat’s gamey essence. Other top choices include Spanish Rioja and Chinon from the Loire Valley. On the more affordable front, try Chilean merlot or a Languedoc red, such as Minervois, Saint-Chinian or Corbières. Beppi Crosariol