- 2 tablespoons ground fennel seed
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 pound bone in lamb shoulder roast
- 2 apples, rough chop
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 6 shallots
- 2 carrots, rough chop
- 2 celery stalks, rough chop
- 1 bottle cabernet (750 ml)
- 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 6 fresh bay leaves
- 8 rosemary sprigs, tied with string
In a small bowl, mix fennel seed with 2 tablespoons oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Rub mixture all over the lamb. In a large heavy casserole or Dutch oven, heat remaining oil; add lamb. Brown it well over moderately high heat, about 20 minutes. Transfer lamb to a large plate. Wipe out the casserole. Add 1 tablespoon oil back into casserole; brown apples, garlic, shallots, carrots and celery. Return lamb to casserole; add wine, stock, bay leaves and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid; transfer casserole to oven. Braise at 350ºF for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, turning the meat occasionally, until tender.
Transfer the lamb to a large platter; cover with foil. Discard vegetables, rosemary and bay leaves. Simmer braising liquid until reduced to 1-1/2 cups, about 50 minutes.
Once lamb had cooled slightly, pull meat off the bones; transfer to plates or a platter and spoon sauce on top.
Chef suggestion: Serve with potato and parsley gnocchi and a soft poached egg.
Recipe provided by Michael Scelfo, Alden & Harlow. Photo courtesy of The American Lamb Board.