Slow cooking/braising meat isn't rocket science. I can't even claim that this is my own recipe, in fact I pinched it from an old boss of mine He would take the very best shoulder of lamb, and simply braise it on the stove top with herbs, wine and mirepoix, shredding the lamb once cooked and then pressing it under a weight overnight, meltingly tender, rich and sticky, reheated in the reduced cooking liquid
Like I said, not rocket science, but takes some beating on flavour,
He used to say to me
" boy! (I was 25!) you take the best produce and cook with love and passion! It's not rocket science!"
He's no longer with us, which is a shame because I'd like to show him that the boy did listen and has carried on with his " it's not rocket science " philosophy and approach to cooking, if you're looking down Sir?! I salute you
So?!! What am I waffling on about I can hear you all screaming?
Here it is, the recipe, in all of its wonderful gorgeous delicious glorious self, it is time consuming, but just remember LOVE AND PASSION
Rosemary braised and pressed Cumbrian lamb with lamb sauce
This recipe will serve 4 people
Boned shoulder of lamb, approximately 1kg, ask your butcher to tie it for you
3 carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 large onion, peeled and cut into eight
1 leek, washed and cut into four pieces
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs rosemary
½ bottle dry red wine (only cook with wine you'd drink!!)
1 litre of good quality beef stock
In a small frying pan, heat a small amount of oil , Add the lamb shoulder, turning occasionally to brown on all side.
Now heat a good splash of oil in a saucepan and add the vegetables and herbs.
Cook on a medium to high heat,stir occasionally for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked and starting to stick to the pan and caramelised When the vegetables are ready toss in half the wine and scrap around the pan to deglaze
Add the meat into the saucepan and deglaze the frying pan in the same way with some more wine
Add the beef stock and add enough water (or wine or stock) to just the top of the meat. Place a piece of grease proof paper onto the surface of the liquid and meat and then place the lid on the saucepan.
Turn the heat down as low as possible, just gently bubble away for about 5 to 6 hours. Do not boil!!!!
Check on it from time to time – make sure it doesn't dry out or burn onto the bottom, gently turn the meat over after about three hours. When the meat is finished cooking, allow to cool slightly and then remove from the braising liquids and strain
Place onto a clean piece of grease proof paper, now cut the strings and then wrap up really tightly in the greaseproof paper. Tightly wrap this package in cling film wrap, do this several times so it's nice and tight Place in a baking sheet then cover with another baking sheet, now weigh down the top baking sheet, I use house bricks wrapped in foil!!! Leave overnight (food safety would probably dictate in the fridge!!! But I doubt that your fridge at home will be big enough! So somewhere cool)
Meanwhile, strain the braising liquid and discard the vegetables etc, Keep the liquid.
cut the lamb into nice neat portions. In a shallow saucepan, heat a little oil and add the lamb portions. Add a few spoonfuls of braising liquid, turn the lamb and add more liquid as it bubbles and thickens, until all sides of the lamb pieces are coated in the unctuous sauce
Place lamb onto a bed of creamy parsnip puree, and serve with wilted spinach or mashed potato, spoon over some sauce and enjoy. Happy cooking Jon