In this rustic but elegant recipe, chef Adolfo Muñoz braises the lamb shoulder in a white wine, which will not overshadow the flavor of the meat the way a red might. After the lamb is cooked, though, he adds a red wine reduction to the braising liquid to deepen the flavor of the jus.
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One 6-pound boneless lamb shoulder roast, tied with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 bottles (750 ml each) light, dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Muscadet
1 quart water
2 large rosemary sprigs
2 large thyme sprigs
2 large marjoram sprigs
2 large sage sprigs
1 1/2 cups dry red wine, such as Syrah
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In a large roasting pan set over 2 burners, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb and brown it over moderate heat on 4 sides, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer the lamb to a large plate and pour off the fat from the roasting pan.
Return the lamb to the roasting pan. Add the white wine and water and bring to a boil. Add the rosemary, thyme, marjoram and sage sprigs. Cover the lamb with parchment paper, then cover the pan with foil. Braise the lamb in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until very tender, turning it halfway through.
Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and cover it with foil. Pour the braising liquid into a large saucepan and skim off the fat. Boil over high heat, skimming occasionally, until reduced to 4 cups, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, boil the red wine over high heat until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 7 minutes. Strain the reduced lamb-braising liquid into the red wine reduction. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and boil over high heat until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut the strings from the lamb roast and discard. Slice the lamb 1/2 inch thick and transfer to plates. Ladle the jus over the lamb and serve right away.
The lamb roast and jus can be refrigerated separately overnight. Thickly slice the lamb while it is still cold, arrange the meat in a roasting pan and cover it with the jus. Cover the roasting pan with foil and bake in a 350° oven until heated through.
Cherry tomatoes sautéed in olive oil and dusted with pimentón, the Spanish smoked paprika.
This braised dish requires a red with as much concentrated flavor, one with mild tannins that can cut the richness. Try a Spanish Rioja or Priorato.
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