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Neil Davey - thelambshankredemption.blogspot.co.uk
Title: Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb
Author: Neil Davey
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 5 hours
For the shoulder of lamb - best prepared a day or two ahead.
Pre-heat oven to the highest setting. With a small sharp knife, take out all your frustrations on the fatty side of the lamb shoulder and stab several holes in it, all over (but be careful if you've got a bone-in piece because it hurts when you stab in the wrong place). Take your sprigs of rosemary and lemon thyme, your chunks of garlic and your slivers of anchovy (if you've got them) and stuff the holes with all of these / a few / whatever you can fit. Rub a little olive oil all over the lamb, season generously with salt and black pepper. Stick it in a roasting tin - if you've still got lemon thyme and rosemary, lay the lamb on more sprigs of these - cover it with tin foil making sure everything is properly sealed, and then put it in the oven. As soon as it goes in, turn the oven down to 170 degrees C / 325 degrees F / gas mark 3 and set the alarm for at least four hours.
After four hours, remove from the oven and check how it's looking. By this point, much of the fat should have melted away and you'll be able to pull the lamb apart easily with a fork or your fingers. Shred it into reasonable chunks and strands, put a fist sized portion aside per person and freeze the rest.
Main Ragu Ingredients (serves approximately four)
In a saucepan, heat a little oil and then add the diced onion. Sweat it down for a few minutes - low heat, a pinch of salt, small saucepan lid over the onion works a treat - then add the garlic and your tomatoes. Let the tomatoes warm through so that they start to pop. As the liquid fills the pan, add the meat and warm it all through, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.
You can, if you want, grate or peel the tomatoes but I quite like the texture of those little rolls of skin in the finished dish.
If you're adding broad beans, steam them separately for no more than three minutes or until the outer "jacket" on some start to peel away of their own accord. Pod them straight away - trust me, it's SO much easier to do this when they're still warm. Do keep the little outer jackets though: chopped up and sauté ed with garlic and butter or added to a curry, they're absolutely delicious.
While you're at it, boil the pasta in accordance with the packet instructions. Add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water to the ragu, but drain the rest. Toss with a little butter and salt and pepper.
Add the capers to the ragu so that they warm through. (If you're using frozen peas, add to the ragu now so that they cook through.)
Toss the cooked, buttered pasta into the ragu and stir so that the strands are well coated. Add the broad beans at this point, the mint (and the parsley, if using). Stir through gently. Serve in bowls, sprinkle with a little lemon zest and some grated parmesan (and more mint and capers to taste) and a generous grind of salt and pepper. Pour large glass of Moss Wood Amy's Blend. Hope for good weather...