The one major flaw in my marriage – aside from what T. likes to refer to as my gypsy like tendencies – is that he does not like “wild tasting meat” aka not cow. I shouldn’t limit it that much his main dislikes are duck and lamb – which are two of my favorites!! How can someone not like duck?!? This just seems foreign to me. Done right there is nothing better. As for lamb when I was younger I wasn’t a fan but I think it was probably more how it was prepared not the meat (No L. this isn’t directed at you). Now I love lamb and have been far more successful in my cooking of lamb than duck, which is probably why I crave lamb more. I can not wait for fall to make Basque Stew again. Even though our summer has been so horrible I could probably just make that now.. Which brings me to our dinner ‘Summery Braised Shoulder of Lamb”. It seems by adding summery into the recipe title I bought in that it would be okay to braise meat in the middle of August. After a quick tweet to my butcher to secure the shoulder of lamb I began my patient wait till the weekend and the lamb.
If you look at the recipe and my piece of meat below, you’ll notice the shape was different. Given my was higher, it took more water to cover which diluted the anchovy, rosemary, and garlic. Also created more of a broth than a sauce, when it was finished. Next time, and I will definitely make this again, I will ask for a more narrow, flatter joint of meat.
The curious directions of recipes.. “Squish the tomatoes in a colander over a bowl so you are left with a pulp.” I think you could use a good quality tomato paste if you didn’t want to follow this process. Although I’m sure Mama would not agree!
The recipe suggested serving with rice or flat bread. I choose crusty bread and green beans. Which paired wonderfully with the lamb. After blanching the beans I sauteed the green beans in garlic and finished by tossing in fresh lemon juice which matched the flavors in the lamb.
Shocking T. (and again maybe he is just learning after a year) said he really enjoyed the lamb. As I mentioned above the one fail was the sauce, which was more a broth; however, it was very tasty soaked into the bread.
It is always tricky to take photos while entertaining so please excuse the shadows. In my opinion if you are going to pick a theme when hosting a dinner party you need to have fun napkins to match the party (I love napkins! This is more a justification for my napkin cupboard) so the Italian flag with images of Italy were a great find for dinner.
Keeping with the theme we drank A Mano Prima Primitovo wine. For the price this wine is an excellent value. The tannins are soft and elegant, with a beautiful deep purple colour. It has a rich, yet mellow plum taste finished with peppery notes.
* Photo from taken from the winemakers website.
This evening was an interesting departure from how I first envisioned braising the lamb roast for T. and I. But it was wonderfully fun evening filled with good friends and laughter, perfect to share for my milestone 50th post!
“Sometimes…we don’t want to feel like a postmodern, postfeminist, overstretched woman but, rather, a domestic goddess, trailing nutmeggy fumes of baking pie in our languorous wake.”
~ Nigella Lawson