While your first inclination might be to throw every piece of raw meat onto a grill or pan, some cuts simply won’t shine by cooking them that way. Lamb shoulder is one such cut. Long, slow cooking melts the tough, chewy meat into a tender slice of delicious.
I turned this into a meal by serving it with a simple risotto. The tomatoes that were braised with the lamb turned into a silky, flavorful garnish.
Yes, I have lamb on the brain, which all things considered, isn’t such a bad thing.
I used five pieces of lamb shoulder, an 800g can of whole peeled tomatoes, and a cup of arborio rice. For complete instructions on how not to screw up risotto, read my risotto article.
Marinating the Lamb
Place the pieces of lamb in a shallow dish and lightly coat with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, chopped parsley and garlic onto the lamb. Allow to marinate overnight covered in the refrigerator.
Browning the Lamb
Heat a large saute pan. Place the lamb pieces into the hot pan and sear on both sides, 4-6 minutes each side. Set the lamb aside.
Deglazing the Pan
Pour 2-3 cups of red wine into the pan. Using a spatula, scrape the bottom of the pan to release the fond into the liquid.
Adding the Aromatics
Add chopped plum tomatoes, parsley, sliced garlic, salt and cracked black pepper to the pan and stir. Cook the aromatics until the wine is absorbed.
Preparing for Braising
Put the lamb back in the pan in one layer over the bed of tomatoes.
Add the Braising Liquid
Using some of the liquid from the canned tomatoes, or stock, or water, or a combination, fill the pan until the lamb is just sitting in the braising liquid. Cover the pan tightly and cook over low flame for 25-40 minutes, until lamb is tender and braising liquid is almost completely evaporated.