Slow braised lamb with preserved lemons, olives and fregola
Julie Le Clercs slow braised lamb featuring the perfect harmony of tender meat, tangy preserved lemons, rich olives, and hearty fregola is the perfect recipe for winter entertaining. Prepared with meticulous care and simmered to perfection. Experience the art of slow cooking elevated to new heights, capturing the essence of comfort and sophistication on every plate.
900-1kg Hawke’s Bay natural lamb oyster shoulder, at room temperature
Extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
Sal de Añana spring salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup Pons sherry vinegar
1½ - 2 cups Foundation liquid beef stock
1/3 Sabato Julie Le Clerc preserved lemon, divided
1 Tbsp Sabato Julie Le Clerc spicy harissa
1 tsp La Chinata bittersweet smoked paprika
1 cup Qui Sardegna fregola
Bunch of curly kale, cavolo nero or silver beet, washed and roughly chopped
169g jar Losada pitted Gordal olives, drained
Handful fresh mint leaves, torn
Preheat oven to 160ºC (140ºC fan bake). Choose a flameproof casserole pan where the piece of lamb will fit snugly – heat the pan. Rub the meat with EVO and season all over with salt and pepper. Add the lamb to the hot pan and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, to brown. Remove to a plate.
Add the onions, garlic and 2 tablespoons EVO to the pan and cook for 5 minutes to lightly brown. Add the vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes to reduce by half (take care and stand back, as the vinegar fumes are very strong). Now add 1½ cups stock to the pan and bring to the boil.
Combine the flesh of the preserved lemon with the harissa, paprika and about a tablespoon of the preserved lemon liquid and rub this all over the lamb. Finely chop the lemon rind and reserve. Put the lamb on top of the onions; cover the pan tightly with the lid. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 3½ hours, checking once or twice and adding a splash more stock if the liquid is too reduced.
Cook the fregola in plenty of gently simmering, salted water for 7 minutes, so that the fregola is slightly under-cooked. Drain well.
Once the lamb is cooked (the meat should be falling off the bone and will shred easily), remove it to a plate to rest for 10 minutes. Add the fregola, greens, olives and preserved lemon rind to the pan and mix with the onions and pan juices. Cover the pan and return it to the oven for 10 minutes more so that the greens are cooked and the fregola has soaked up all the juices.
Adjust seasoning of fregola with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve drizzled with Arabian date yoghurt and scattered with mint.
Match with: Pruno Ribera del Duero 2019
Recipe by Julie Le Clerc