Braised Lamb Shoulder with Potatoes and Fennel
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 sprig whole fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig fresh sage, leaves finely chopped
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (6-pound) lamb shoulder with 10 inches of shank bone left intact, trimmed
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed
- 3 bulbs fennel, trimmed, each cut into 8 wedges
- 3 ribs celery, cut on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, crushed
- 4 plum tomatoes, peeled, halved, and cored
- 2 Meyer lemons, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped, plus 8 cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
Preheat oven to 300 degrees with rack the in lower third of the oven. In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs with chopped garlic, chopped rosemary, and chopped sage; drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and toss to combine. Set aside. Using kitchen twine, tie together remaining sprigs of rosemary and sage to make an herb bouquet; set aside.
Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add lamb, searing on all sides until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove lamb; set aside.
Add potatoes, fennel, celery, sliced garlic, coriander, and reserved herb bouquet to the Dutch oven; saute, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, lemons, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Return lamb to pot, and sprinkle reserved breadcrumb mixture evenly over lamb.
Cover, and transfer to oven; cook for 1 hour. Using a pastry brush, baste the lamb, being careful not to disturb the crumb crust. Cover, and cook until crust is golden and crispy, about 30 minutes more. Transfer lamb and vegetables to a large serving platter; serve immediately.