Braised Lamb Shoulder, Pea Puree

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braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree

Braised Lamb Shoulder, Pea Puree

With Christmas around the corner, I'd like to share another  delicious recipe with you. This Braised Lamb Shoulder is festive and perfect to grace your holiday tables. It is a wonderful way to serve meat in the colder months, it just cozy and warm and as a side benefit, you don't have to worry about overcooking it and it can be prepared in advance. Straightforward to make, it really requires minimum effort. First, get the best lamb shoulder and ask the butcher to cut each slice into four pieces. I like it with the bone, it adds richness to the sauce. Seal the flavor by searing the meat in a very hot Dutch oven or pan.  Extract as much flavor from vegetables and wine as possible, add the meat and cover it with the stock. This hearty braise will be simmering for over two hours, until the meat becomes very tender. To make the sauce, strain the braising liquid through fine-mesh sieve and then further reduce it on the stovetop. Pea puree  is a dish in itself that even my small children enjoy straight from the blender. It is my green oasis on the plate of otherwise chocolate-colored meat. Plating is everything, play with color by either serving it with simply boiled rainbow potato (purple, pink, yellow) or cauliflower which also can be found in purple, green and yellow shades or omit serving potatoes all together. Quinoa with fresh herbs can be a great alliterative. All you need is literally a spoonful for each plate. Roasted asparagus is always my go to when plating any dish whether it's eggs, poached cod or braised meats. It's wonderful sweet taste and eccentric looks elevate the presentation every time. The one trick I learned over the years is to shave the spears with vegetable peeler to make it softer. Pomegranate seeds were my last minute inspiration  and they add panache and a pump of color to the finished dish. I like to have my braised meat on the same day but as we all know, with the passage of a day or two it gets even more flavorful, thus making this recipe even more appealing if you want to make something in advance of your gathering.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-ingredients

Ingredients: lamb shoulder, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, peas, potatoes, asparagus, spicy harissa sauce, wine, chicken broth, salt, mildly spicy red pepper.

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Peel the onion.

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Dice the onion.

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Peel and finely dice the carrot.

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You can always prep your vegetables ahead of time.

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Celery's center stalks are my favorite to use. They are delicate in taste with their pale-green sweet leaves attached.

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Chop celery finely.

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Braise the meat: Preheat the oven to 350F. Season the meat generously on all sides with salt.

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Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, pour a dash of oil and sear the meat on both sides in batches until nicely browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

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Wipe excess oil with paper towels, keeping all the browning on the bottom of the pot intact. Pour fresh dash of oil to the same pot; add onion, carrot and celery.

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Cook vegetables for 8 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.

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Add garlic and harissa sauce and cook 2 minutes longer.

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Then pour the wine and let it reduce in half.

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It will take about 5 minutes.

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Add meat along with any juices that accumulated on a plate to the pot.

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Cover the meat with chicken/or vegetable stock.

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Add herbs and bring stock to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and place it in the oven. Slowly braise the meat for 2 1/2 hours.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-cooked

After a slow process of braising, the meat will soften and the liquid will reduce in half. Transfer meat with a slotted spoon into a bowl, cover to keep it warm.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-press-on-solids

Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh kitchen strainer pressing on all the solids with the spatula straight into a small pot. On a medium-low heat, reduce the liquid until it thickens and becomes a sauce . You can also thicken it with 1 tablespoon of flour. If decide to add flour, you need to make sure there are no lumps in the sauce. Take a small bowl, add flour to it, then add enough braising liquid, whisking constantly, to make it resemble a heavy cream consistency. Pour it into the sauce in one steam, whisking constantly. Set the sauce aside.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-ingredients-for-puree

Make the puree: Add peas to a boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, then shock in ice bath. Drain well.

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Add peas, celery, olive oil and water to a blender. Season and add a squeeze of lemon.

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Blitz until puree is smooth.

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Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Keep warm.

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To roast asparagus. 

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Cut off 2-inches of asparagus's woody base.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-peel-asparagus

Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin from the bottom half of each asparagus spear, thus exposing the lighter green part of the stems.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-drizzle-asparagus-with-oil

Make sure the spears are dry, place them on a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with oil, season with salt and mildly spicy red pepper. Roast at 425F for about 8-10 minutes, depending on asparagus' thickness.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-roasted-asparagus-potatoes-puree

Boiled potatoes, pea puree and roasted asparagus will be served with the meat.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-sliced-potatoes

Slice potatoes, set aside.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-plating

To serve, smear each plate with the puree, place sliced potatoes and few asparagus spears.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-pour-sauce-over-meat

Place 2-3 lamb pieces and spoon the sauce over the meat.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-season

Season the meat with finishing salt (I used real gold salt:) and mildly spicy red pepper.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree

Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Voila, serve hot!

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-plating-festive

This is the same braised lamb but plated on my festive holiday china from Royal Copenhagen.

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree-pour-sauce-over-braised-meat

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree

braised-lamb-shoulder-pea-puree

 

 

 

 

 

Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Braised Lamb Shoulder, Pea Puree

recipe details

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the meat 
  • 3 lb. bone-in lamb shoulder, each slice cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-tablespoon spicy harissa sauce or sriracha
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 4 cups low-sodium stock
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
For the pea puree
  • 1 cup green peas, cooked, then shocked in cold water
  • 1 celery rib (I like tender center ribs with pale-green leaves attached)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • Pinch of smoked Spanish paprika (optional)
  • Salt
To garnish
  • 1/2 lb. rainbow potatoes (purple, pink, yellow), boiled, peeled
  • 1 asparagus bunch
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo or Marash pepper
  • Flaky/or large grain finishing salt (black lava salt, gold salt, pink salt)
Equipment 
  • Dutch oven
  • Fine-mesh kitchen strainer
 

Directions

 
  1. Braise the meat: Preheat the oven to 350F. Season the meat generously on all sides with salt. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, pour a dash of oil and sear the meat on both sides in batches until nicely browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Wipe excess oil with paper towels, keeping all the browning on the bottom of the pot intact. Pour fresh dash of oil to the same pot; add onion, carrot and celery. Cook vegetables for 8 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. Add garlic and harissa sauce and cook 2 minutes longer. Then pour the wine and let it reduce in half. Add meat along with any juices that accumulated on a plate to the pot and cover it with the stock. Add herbs and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and place it in the oven. Slowly braise the meat for 2 hours.
  2. Once done cooking, transfer meat with a slotted spoon into a bowl, cover to keep it warm. Strain the braising liquid through a fine-mesh kitchen strainer pressing on all the solids with the spatula into a small pot. On a medium-low heat, reduce the sauce in half. Set aside.
  3. Make the puree: Add peas, celery, olive oil and water to a blender. Season and a squeeze of lemon, blitz until puree is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Keep warm.
  4. Roast asparagus: Cut off 2-inches of asparagus's woody base. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin from the bottom half of each asparagus spear, thus exposing the lighter green part of the stems. Make sure the spears are dry; place them on baking sheet and drizzle with oil slightly, season with salt and mildly spicy red pepper. Roast at 425F for about 8-10 minutes, depending on asparagus thickness.
  5. To serve, smear each plate with the puree, place sliced potatoes and few asparagus spears. Place 2-3 lamb pieces and spoon over the sauce on top. Season the meat with finishing salt and mildly spicy red pepper. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve hot!

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