Chef Linton Hopkins is a champion of Southern tradition. For this dish, he slow-braises lamb shoulder until succulent, and serves it with one of the South’s favorite snacks: pickled peaches.
Slideshow: Lamb Recipes
In a small bowl, mix the paprika with the salt and black pepper. Rub the lamb all over with the spice mixture and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.
Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the red wine and bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately high heat until it is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove the casserole from the heat and add the stock, parsley, thyme and bay leaves; let cool completely. Add the lamb meat side down in the brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the lamb and brine to room temperature before proceeding.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring the lamb and brine to a simmer over moderate heat. Cover and braise in the oven for about 3 hours, until very tender. Transfer the lamb to a carving board, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes. Discard the bones and any visible fat and cut the meat into 8 pieces.
Spoon off all the fat from the braising liquid and discard the herbs. Transfer the braising liquid and vegetables to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the sauce to the casserole and boil until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and black pepper. Add the meat and turn to coat. Cook over moderately low heat just until warmed through. Serve the lamb and sauce over saffron rice, passing the mint pistou and pickled peaches at the table.
The lamb can be refrigerated overnight in the sauce. Reheat gently before serving.
Raspberry-rich Spanish Garnacha.
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