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Braised Lamb Shoulder with Polenta

MEAT & GAME / SPRING

INGREDIENTS

(Serves 2)

For the Lamb:

For the Gremolata:

For the Polenta:

Braised lamb shoulder can often be a very underused cut – not only because it is relatively cheap, but because it can be so full of flavour and so wonderfully tender. The key is to give the meat time to slowly cook and to get those sauces reduced down nicely so that you have a lovely, rich, shiny sauce.

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 140°C

Trim any excess fat from the lamb shoulder, portion and season heavily with salt and pepper.

In a heavy bottomed, oven proof casserole, heat a little oil until lightly smoking. Colour the lamb in the casserole until golden on all sides. Remove the pieces of shoulder and pour any excess fat out of the pan, before returning the pan to the heat. Deglaze the pan with the wine, and simmer until it has reduced by a half. Add the stock, bring to a simmer and return the shoulder to the pan, before covering and popping the pan into an oven at 140°C. The lamb should take around 3 hours to braise, at which stage the sauce should be dark and thick. If you would rather it thicker, remove the pieces of lamb from the pan and boil the sauce for a moment or two to reduce.

To make the gremolata, finely crush or grate the garlic cloves and combine with the finely chopped parsley, lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil to bind. Season with a little salt.

When you are ready to serve, heat the milk and butter to a simmer in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Slowly add the polenta, stirring constantly to achieve a smooth paste. Continue to cook gently until the polenta thickens – this should take 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the grated parmesan.

Spoon the wet polenta into bowls, topping with the braised lamb shoulder, its unctuous cooking liquor and a good drizzle of the gremolata.

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