2 SERVINGS 30 MINUTE PREP TIME 4-1/2 HOUR COOK TIME
5 pound boneless Shepherd’s Pride or Cedar Springs shoulder roast, tied
2 tablespoons ground fennel seed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 apples, rough chop
6 garlic cloves, smashed
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.
Remove string from roast. Slice the lamb; 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