This menu borrows from flavors of the Mediterranean.
Garlic, lemons, olives and rosemary infuse the braised lamb shoulder with an interesting but not overly exotic taste. The potatoes, mashed with olive oil, chicken stock, salt and pepper, deliver a creamy comfort without any dairy.
Mediterranean Braised Lamb with Green Olives
Using a bone-in roast delivers additional flavor and depth to this dish. The braising liquid makes a wonderful sauce to ladle over mashed potatoes or to use as a dipping sauce for matzah.
4 pounds bone-in lamb shoulder
¼ cup olive oil
1 head garlic, cut in half
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup green olives, pitted, with liquid
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 cups dry white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup water (or more if needed)
Rub the lamb all over with oil, salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, sear the lamb on all sides.
Remove the dish from the heat, and add the remaining ingredients to the Dutch oven, pouring them evenly over the lamb. Heat your oven to 300 degrees.
Cover the lamb, and braise it in the oven for 4-5 hours, checking occasionally to baste and make sure there is sufficient liquid in pot — it should cover the lamb about halfway. If it’s too dry, add water.
When the lamb is done, it will be fork tender and falling off the bone. Remove it from the oven, and take the lamb out of the liquid. Set it aside and keep warm.
Remove the garlic and bring the liquid to a boil. Cook uncovered until it is thickened and reduced by half; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the braising liquid as sauce with the lamb, and to top potatoes.
While traditional mashed potatoes are laced with butter and milk, this version, which is plenty tasty, is OK to serve with meat.
If you have homemade stock, be sure to scoop the schmaltz and add it to the potatoes. Yukon Gold potatoes deliver a creamy buttery flavor to this dish, but any potato will work just fine.
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut in quarters
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ -1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and crushed garlic, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes until the potatoes are soft and a fork can be easily inserted.
Drain potatoes, and return them to the pot. Add the olive oil and half the stock. Mash the potatoes until smooth; add more stock if needed, then salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot. JN